Culture Amp helps companies run employee surveys and gain insights through powerful people analytics. That’s what we do.
And, we believe in being a “Culture First” company. That’s who we are.
As such, we do our best to keep culture a prominent focus throughout the recruiting process.
I joined the team at Culture Amp a few months ago, so my recruiting experience is still top of mind. As a candidate I was looking for a company that was transparent about its brand and culture. Especially in San Francisco, it’s easy to get caught up in perks and flashy promises, so I wanted to know that I was joining a team that was authentic and truly stuck to its company values, no matter how big the company gets.
My interview process was coordinated by my Culture Amp Mentor, Jon Williams. I had just spent the past year working at a recruiting firm, so my awareness of recruiting practices like how to prepare for an interview and the importance of following up with candidates were still top of mind. What surprised me about Culture Amp, however, was how unique its recruiting process was, particularly in regards to how it conveyed its culture throughout the process.
In light of this, I’m excited to share a glimpse into how Culture Amp makes culture a focus in the recruiting process—specifically speaking to how our greater community drives this effort. Read on to get insight into how you can do the same in your organization!
What does it mean to be a “Culture First” company?
When we say we “put culture first” or that we’re a “culture first company” we mean that instead of focusing on the end result (i.e. profits), we focus on our employees first as the driver of that performance. We also have three values that inform our culture: learn faster through feedback, trust people to make decisions, and have the courage to be vulnerable.
We look for people who inherently believe in those values and can add value to our culture as we grow. We’re not looking for “culture fit” in the traditional sense nor do we believe in the merits of colloquial “beer test” recruiting tactics. By providing prospective candidates with a sense of our company values (which we also explore in a more in-depth way during interviews in the recruiting process) we ensure that our values and their values are aligned. This leads to more engaged employees down the line and helps us keep the foundation of our culture intact.
How our community engages candidates into our culture
Culture Amp relies heavily on the community-building efforts of its Community Team to relay its culture to prospective candidates and immerse them in it. These efforts include our super engaging Twitter page, our “People Geeks” Slack channel, and our People Geekup events.
These three community channels give prospective candidates a holistic sense of our culture before they even come onsite for an interview—or perhaps even before they consider a job at Culture Amp in the first place! On our Twitter page, we share updates from our Insights Blog and from our Blog on Medium, Culture by Numbers, and we include mentions from across the internet that we think would be useful to our community. We respond to as many mentions as we can in order to fuel an engaging conversation.
We also use our People Geeks Slack channel to engage in conversation with people. Here, we conduct one-on-one chats as well as encourage our participants to discuss topics together and answer each other’s questions. In addition, our newsletter The People Geekly provides our industry reader base—who we all view as prospective candidates!—with more articles and information on upcoming Culture Amp community events.
Our People Geekup events are an opportunity for candidates to meet with Campers (our cute name for ourselves!) who might not be directly involved in the interview process. This allows them to get a bigger picture of what our culture is about by meeting people who they might not work with directly, but who certainly contribute to and help shape our overall culture. We also understand that some people might be new to the fields of People Analytics and HR, so attending one of our events introduces candidates to our core audience of People and HR professionals. Here, they can ponder “Does this community fit me?”.
Another goal of our Geekups is best described by our Head of People Julie Rogers: “It's common for People Geeks who haven't received an offer to still attend our People Geekups and for our extended networks to merge. We've had a handful of candidates who weren't the right match for one role, but have been a shoe-in for another, and we've been thrilled to invite them to join our team in a role that they will thrive in.”
Our active community is also a way for us to stay connected with people no matter what their employment status may be—because, as we know, things can always change! We never know when someone may be seeking out a new job—it might not be today, but it may be 6 months from now—so that’s why it’s important to keep them engaged with our community and our company and keep the relationship and their impression strong. Our goal is to build a robust network of People Geeks so that there’s always a talent pool of accessible, high quality people who are already tuned in to and champion what Culture Amp is and does.
These are just some of the things we do to ensure we’re giving prospective candidates an authentic image of who we are. That said, it’s better for candidates to understand your company and the people they’d be working with before they actually become employees. This way, they can see first-hand whether your company and culture are truly for them or not (and vice versa!). As a result, you’re able to make more right-fit hires the first time around and continue to scale your culture as your company expands.
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