Recruiting with Culture in Mind

Over the weekend, I had a conversation with someone who works for a rather large service organization. We got on the topic of college recruiting and why it’s important to long-term succession planning and competitiveness. What struck me about our discussion was this individual’s emphasis on skill set as a determining factor in attracting potential college graduates to the organization. This person believed matching business needs and skills was an effective strategy. While knowledge, skills, and abilities are certainly important criteria in the finding college graduates, I explained that organizational culture can be just as significant. I asked him to explain the characteristics of an effective person in the organization. In other words, who is successful in your culture?

Organizational cultures characterized by a diverse environment, for example, has become an important consideration. As organizations adopt flatter structures, they have become more reliant on diverse functional teams as the basis of daily operations. A college graduate who is able to understand and work with differences is more critical today than one who is accustomed to a skills-based hierarchical organization.   

Organizational culture may also have implications for college recruitment strategies and policies. There may be a need to attract a wider and more diverse pool of applicants. Organizations may also need to consider recruitment processes, selection criteria, information given to applicants and new hires, mentoring programs, professional development, promotion processes, and performance appraisals.