[Podcast] Managing Culture Change During Times Of Significant Growth with Daniel Chait

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What if you could surround yourself with an amazing team?

People you actually like and help motivate and inspire you.

We know culture is important, but Daniel Chait, CEO of Greenhouse, thinks the best way to impact corporate culture begins with hiring.

Daniel and Greenhouse have had the lofty task of maintaining a prosperous culture while experiencing dynamic growth.  So often we deal with affecting corporate cultures where there’s an absence of clear direction or even poisonous elements adversely affecting the environment.

The notion of being able to circumvent a lot of the messiness right from the beginning is worth exploring.  And while sweeping change is surgical and painful at times, there are some small shifts that can be made in our way of thinking that can immediately impact this process and perhaps ultimately provide the kick in the tush we need to make the bigger jumps.

Hiring Is Important

It’s also very difficult.  

So it’s easy to forget how profoundly impactful it is to your business until it’s too late.

Hiring is increasingly outsourced or pushed to the side as nominally important.  And while that may sometimes be a more efficient way with time and money up front, the impact it’s having on your culture might be dramatically affecting your company.

This isn’t to say that outsourcing is always bad; simply that if that external agency isn’t keenly aware of and in line with your cultural values, it’s likely they’re sending you very qualified terrible fits.

“Hiring is one of the most impactful activities that any organization can take.”
– Daniel Chait

Given the importance of hiring, it’s something we very much should have our hands in. And not just from the beginning when our company has four people, but when we’re pushing three hundred.

Instead of regarding the HR department as a nuisance or something entirely separate from the rest of the business, we should be looking at it as a tool.

The Right People

First, have you considered who the “right” person for the job and culture are?

It seems like an odd question at first, but the kind of specificity needed to set hiring parameters is often overlooked, especially when it comes to how that new hire might fit into a company’s culture.  

And that’s particularly true when the culture itself is ill-defined.

Time is valuable and hard to find.  But setting aside time to clearly define your values, ensure they’re being properly upheld in the current environment, and then ensuring they permeate the hiring process are all things that impact the people you’re finding and how they fit into your business.

“Your culture has to be a tool for you to attract not just the best people, but the right people for your organization.”
– Daniel Chait

Creating a culture where talented and fitting people can flourish is integral to ongoing success.

You’re not just evaluating employees; they’re evaluating you as well.

Additionally, the position you take regarding the importance of your employees and the attributes you incentivize will ultimately determine their ability to add continued value to your company.

Imagine walking into a work environment every day where you feel empowered, cared for, and encouraged or motivated.  Is there anything more valuable to an employee than that? And this will affect their performance!

At the end of the day, we want to ensure that employees are adding as much value as possible during their time with us.

The $100,000,000 Staffing Problem

Culture has always been important.  

And it’s importance is growing, as it’s attached more and more indelibly to a company’s bottom line.  While the game is the same with regards to hiring talented and skilled individuals that get the job done, we’re seeing a shift in the environment in which this game is played.

If you have a people problem, you have a business problem.  

“The line between what’s a business problem and what’s a people problem is going away.”
– Daniel Chait

When you’re first starting out, one hundred million dollars seems like an inconceivable amount.  However, when you consider the life of a business and the impact good and bad hires make on the bottom line (directly or indirectly) the notion seems far more reasonable.

And while the actual numbers may be lower, failing to act now on both your hiring elements and the culture you foster for current employees could mean both financial windfalls and – maybe more devastating – missed opportunities.