How Hiring Impacts Culture: A Conversation Between Greenhouse & Glassdoor

Meet the Talent Makers is a new webinar series that spotlights and celebrates people aligning talent to business, from sourcing and hiring to onboarding. We’re excited to kick off this series with a conversation between Greenhouse’s Director of Talent Acquisition Jacqui Maguire and Glassdoor’s Global Head of Talent Acquisition Julie Coucoules.

Every decision you make as a Talent professional – from how you write your job descriptions and conduct interviews to how you assess candidates and extend offers – has a direct impact on your company culture. At the same time, having a strong company culture will also guide your hiring practices and decisions. How do you ensure that your hiring practices are aligned with your culture? This is the question Glassdoor’s Global Head of Talent Acquisition Julie Coucoules and Greenhouse’s Director of Talent Acquisition Jacqui Maguire discussed in the recent “How Hiring Impacts Culture” webinar.

Julie and Jacqui share the perspective of leading Talent teams at organizations that are dedicated to helping other companies find and hire great Talent. It’s safe to say that they both spend quite a lot of time thinking about hiring and culture, since it’s not only their job, but their company’s as well!

We’ll be sharing some of the highlights from their conversation below. Or you can watch the full recording of the webinar here.

What Is Company Culture?

To provide some context for the conversation, Jacqui started by defining company culture.

Company culture is the shared set of values at an organization that impact the way that employees interact and work together.

People often confuse a company’s culture for its mission, so Jacqui and Julie spent some time digging into the differences between these two concepts.

“Your mission is what you’re heading towards and your culture is how you get there.” – Jacqui Maguire, Director of Talent Acquisition, Greenhouse

At Glassdoor, Julie says, the company’s mission is to “help people everywhere find a company and job they love,” while its values and culture include transparency and integrity. When Julie considers candidates for her team, she wants to ensure that they’re not only aligned with the company’s mission in the larger sense, but also with the values that guide her team’s everyday behavior and decision-making.

How Do You Incorporate Values into Your Interview Process?

Defining your team and company values is the first step. Next, it’s important to think about how to incorporate these values into your interview process. When assessing candidates, Julie looks for ways to determine whether Glassdoor’s company values resonate with them. In practical terms, this involves creating questions designed to measure a candidate’s qualities such as integrity or grit. Glassdoor uses Greenhouse scorecards to consistently measure each candidate and pull data on the back end to see if those questions are actually working.

Jacqui says, “A culture interview is not a beer test,” referring to the practice of making a hiring decision based on whether you could see yourself grabbing a beer with someone after work. Instead, Jacqui recommends incorporating questions into the interview that align with your company values and creating a structured process. For example, to assess candidates on the value of inclusion, Greenhouse interviewers might say, “Tell me about a time when you noticed someone was being excluded. What did you do about it?” Jacqui also believes in the power of enlisting cross-departmental teams to conduct culture interviews. This practice allows candidates to meet a wider group of current employees while also reducing the expertise bias that can creep in when people conduct interviews with people in the same functional area of the company.

What’s the Difference Between Culture Fit and Culture Add?

In recent years, there’s been a trend of replacing the term “culture fit” with “culture add.” Julie explains that “culture fit” is more about assessing candidates on how they’d fit into your existing culture, while “culture add” looks at how candidates can enhance your culture and help it evolve.

“If we wanted to hire candidates based on how they fit into our culture, we could really miss out on some great hires. Alternatively, what we try to do is think about how our culture can continue to grow and evolve over time, and we can facilitate this by looking for candidates who add to our culture in new and exciting ways.” – Julie Coucoules, Global Head of Talent Acquisition, Glassdoor

Jacqui adds that you don’t want to use culture as a way to exclude people. Instead, she recommends asking questions like, “Does this person’s values align with ours? And will this person bring a new perspective to our team?”

Let’s Keep the Conversation Going

If you’d like to hear more from Julie and Jacqui on topics like hiring a diverse team, differentiating between perks and culture, and adapting your approach to interviewing when hiring in different regions, tune in to the full webinar here.

Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno is a freelance writer and former Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Melissa previously built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she's made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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