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"Culture eats strategy for breakfast"


This famous quote by famous consultant and writer Peter Drucker is one that continues to be dissected by the masses.

Whilst strategy is central to business success, culture is the environment in which success is enabled. Cultivating the right environment is often a delicate dance but the importance is clear. This is only amplified by the fact that startups don't have the same purchasing power as the big tech operators and established brands. Where this remains the case, it is then important to be pragmatic about what you can offer as part of the candidate proposition that doesn't "break the bank" and is relevant to the model and identity of the business. In this case, improving your culture shouldn't cost anything.

Strategic hiring attests to a highly-performant culture *arguably more than businesses realise from our experience*...

Here’s a few tips that should serve you well.

  • Establishing company values, and then living by them. For example:

- Ambition

- Passion for learning

- Work ethic

- Curiosity

- Honesty


These values shouldn’t be just words for “lip service” but values people live. No one gets everything right, but in the examples you don't get things right, do your best to right things.

  • Create a 6-12 month hiring roadmap. This will ensure that you are hiring in a more structured, proactive way. The clearer plans are, the more clarity you can provide candidates which will help hire quality talents into the business; minimizing candidate attrition.

  • A key, often overlooked perspective in building a thriving culture is to tackle the culture problem on an outwards facing basis. Put simply, how you brand your company and how you communicate with candidates before and during the hiring process is really going to set the tone for who you end up integrating into your company culture. To that end, make this a priority; ensuring a positive candidate experience when hiring. Whilst assessing candidates, use and document scorecards thus your hiring process remains evidence-based, not solely based on “gut feel”.

  • Championing diversity. Celebrating differences, yet working in unison is key. CIPD suggest that organisations who fail to celebrate differences are unlikely to see positive change. Again, the benefits of creating an inclusive culture are clear from both a humane and business standpoint. Encouraging everyone to have a voice and contribute is fundamental.

  • Trust your team. Assemble the right team, and you shouldn't have to be ridden with fear of misjudgement, lack of effort, nor should you be concerned that the team won't deliver in your physical absence. Flexible-working, whilst not suitable for all businesses, is a genuine differentiator. Working remotely is not always going to be a preference for candidates hence it is best to make use of flexible co-working contracts to accommodate. Your physical working environment has a direct bearing on the productivity of staff, and so ideally there should be a balance struck.

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