Culture Is Talent Acquisition’s, Not Just HR’s, Responsibility

There comes a point in your recruiting career when culture, employee retention, and organizational health become even more interesting than the daily hunt for new talent. The thought of “your” new hires leaving your company prematurely or underperforming on the job, after all of your hard work, gets you thinking … are we built to support these new hires? Are we healthy? Is our culture what we say it is?

As recruiters on the front line of the talent war, we have a real opportunity to impact culture and organizational health … even an obligation.

But … isn’t this HR’s job?

As I see it, HR is still the main channel for supporting culture and driving towards those types of organizational goals, but it’s the recruiting team that has the opportunity to make the effort more complete.

On a daily basis, it’s the recruiting team that finds itself at the crossroads of corporate activity from the executive level down. From coaching our hiring managers and kicking off reqs to the ups and downs of the hiring cycle, it’s the recruiters that often gain the deepest insights regarding the strength and health of the company (and in real time).

It’s also the recruiting team that has the earliest engagement with prospective employees. When they are mere candidates in the pipeline, very important information is shared ranging from priorities, personal circumstances, work styles, leadership styles, reasons for departures, and even behavior under pressure (think offer process). And, once they become employees, the recruiters are often the most friendly face for the first few weeks and beyond.

It’s this open flow of information between managers and recruiters and new hires that leads to actionable data. But how do you organize it and make it work for you?

I’ve been fortunate to be a part of several startup growth stories. The cultures have all been a little different, but it has always been the recruiting team that was more informed than most regarding the health and culture of the organization. The tech market, and tech startups in particular, moves so fast that it is all-hands-on deck to cultivate and grow culture as new employees join. At 50 employees, there are considerations that don’t apply at 100. At 100, you’re thinking about 250. At 250, 500 employees is in sight with more and more variables entering the equation as time passes.

For those of you out there working in huge multi-national organizations with headcounts in the tens of thousands, the natural occurrence of more manageable sub-cultures means recruiting can still get involved. Size matters not. The data and inputs that are collected by the recruiting team can make your company a much more productive and enjoyable place to be.

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Mike Hebert
Mike Hebert is a Boston-based talent acquisition leader devoted to helping companies create better hiring processes, establish talent brand awareness, discover new sourcing strategies, and maximize the candidate and manager experience. He loves working with hiring managers to help them unlock their brand potential as well as helping the organization to increase their message and branding in the marketplace. Brand-wise, he affiliates himself with technology-centric organizations and takes particular interest in mobile/web companies and organizations that make mobile/web better. Other fun facts: he used to code a long time ago (a little further than "Hello World") and loves to be part of companies that are in massive rebuilding modes OR still on the climb towards mass appeal and recognition. And yes, he still recruits … every day.