Are You Filling Vacancies Or Creating A Culture?


It’s that time of the year again.

The annual recruitment drive.

New expectations for the year. New targets. In some cases even a brand new strategy.

And in desperation to make sure things happen ASAP, companies create approved vacancies that need to filled. Hiring managers review tons of resumes, interview like crazy and hope (even wish) that they can just get that seat filled as quickly as possible.

And off course hiring speedily is indeed important. Otherwise there’s no way any business can scale effectively or respond to an emergency. But the problem with treating recruitment as purely a process to “fill” individual vacancies is that you can never address the bigger picture:

The ultimate goal of any leader:

To create a winning culture.

Here are some ways to ensure you don’t just hire to fill vacancies but also to create a great culture.

Define your culture

It’s hard to focus on achieving something if you haven’t defined it.

Culture to a company is like character to a person. It defines your identity and what you stand for.

Most companies don’t even know what they want their company culture to be. Very few define it. Even less communicate it. Hardly any go ahead and implement it. No wonder the focus of hiring then goes back to just finding skills, experience and qualifications and simply trying to fill vacancies to get the job done.

Great leaders understand that even with great intentions and high levels of skill, unless the organization’s expected culture is crystal clear there is no way you can build consistency and power. That’s why the best performing global organisations today are investing heavily in coaching and leadership development programs – it’s not just to ensure that they allow their valued employees to grow, but also to consistently communicate the beliefs and behaviors that make up the company culture.

Define your culture accurately and you’re more likely to recognize it in others.

Disrupt the status quo

The word “culture” in business is a bit like exercise in our daily lives.

We all know we should give it more importance, but something “else” more important usually gets in the way.

In ten years as a recruiter I can say with confidence that although many hiring managers will claim to agree that cultural fit is the most important thing in their organization, it’s amazing how this suddenly falls in importance against experience, technical ability or the advantage of working for their biggest competitor.

In fact, even most job descriptions usually have “great cultural fit and outstanding team player” proudly stated…..right at the bottom of the spec, after the exhaustive list of critical qualifications and experience.

The problem with hiring in most organisations is that it’s usually done “our way”. The same people, the same processes, the same screening criteria. In order to create a new system focused on creating a great culture (rather than filling vacancies) requires disruption.

The new culture focused system of hiring requires using skilled professionals who screen candidates first and foremost for cultural fit.

Only then should they be assessed for the right levels of skills and experience.

Reward the right behavior

In many companies, culture is simply a set of guidelines.

Words or phrases that managers hope will inspire others.

Yet when it comes to being rewarded or recognized, management falls back to purely to traditional objectives: generating revenue, cutting cost and meeting deadlines.

In order to encourage the right culture, great leaders understand that they need to incentivize it. They understand that any culture can always be broken down into measurable behaviors that should be then monitored and rewarded accordingly.

Want to foster collaboration? Reward team performance over individuals. Want to build a culture based on innovation? Support those who take risks. Is your culture all about open communication? Thank others for flagging up problems.

Culture is built on behavior.

Reward the right behavior and you’ll build the right culture.


Hiring can be used to fill vacancies.

Or to do something much more powerful: create the desired culture.

Great leaders understand that hiring the right people is the single most important factor in determining whether they can build the right culture essential to their success.

Has your company created the right culture?

Reach out here for further resources on how to screen candidates harder