When it comes to adding a new member to your marketing team, whether you’re outsourcing to an agency or hiring a new member to work side by side with you, there are a number of items to consider. Looking past the most obvious of criteria when adding a new marketer to your team such as experience, certifications and references, there is one thing above all others that will most likely make or break if your new addition will be successful working with you; culture.
No matter if you are a department within a multinational company or a small yet powerful agency, you and your team most certainly have a culture that affects and drives how you work. Whether or not you’ve created this culture intentionally is another story but no matter how pre-defined it is, your employees, both old and new, are affected by it daily.
Ask anyone who has ever made a hiring decision for their team and they will tell you that a candidate can be as experienced and qualified as possible and still not be considered a good hire based on their personality when compared to the company culture. If people and processes don’t mesh, work doesn’t get done or doesn’t get done efficiently or effectively, no matter what their resume looks like.
So what makes up culture? What areas of your team’s dynamic should you consider when interviewing for a new hire or considering bringing in outside help?
Depending on how your company is set up, work hours and the expectations attached to them can play a huge role in your culture. If you and your team like to work by the “compass, not the clock,” meaning that you are more focused on staying late to get things done right and on time than clocking out right at 5 and saving work for the next day, you may want to consider how your new addition views their work responsibilities. Now, there’s a difference between requiring people to stay long hours to work and building a GSD (Get Shit Done) culture and it lies in the motivations of the people involved. Bringing on a person who is driven by GSD and not by a clock-out time and paycheck help to form a very specific culture and should be considered when adding a new face to the mix.
How time outside of (or potentially during) work hours is treated is just as important to consider when bringing on a new marketing player to your team. Different work cultures strive to establish different connections between their employees that often times dictate how everyone interacts with each other when they aren’t working. Do you have a company that is awkward around the water cooler and during parties or do you have coworkers who are also friends and spend time together during breaks and outside of work? Is building a “family” or workers important to you and your company or do you just want people who will work together to get the job done? Consider how your current people interact with each other already to see if any new hire will fit that mold.
Connected closely with the first two items listed above, your company most likely has a very specific culture when it comes to how everyone interacts with and treats each other on a regular basis. Consider the difference between a cut-throat culture that seems to follow the Darwinian theory of “survival of the fittest” and one of family and respect where the golden rule applies. Both are extremely different and both would quickly ostracize individuals from the other. Understanding what type of culture of internal interaction you have set up will help you understand if your potential new addition will fit right in or be rejected by your team and their culture.
Treating people a certain way internally is one thing that can be addressed over time but treating customers and clients a certain way is something that should be mapped out and covered immediately during the onboarding process of any new person. You’ve most likely heard the phrases “culture of customer service” and “customer-centric” and if that’s something spoken about in your company, understanding if a new hire jives with that philosophy is something to consider, especially if they will be in contact at all with your constituents. Going back to the cultural notion of how your team and your potential hire views work, are they willing to go the extra mile to help your clients or customers or does 5 o’clock mean quitting time no matter who’s on the other line?
Culture and culture fit is a much larger factor in the success of a company and new hire than some may have you believe. At Revenue River, we spend the first interview reviewing qualification factors and all interactions thereafter testing out their cultural fit with our company and team. While certainly not an exact science (no one bats a career 1.000%), we’ve found that comparing the 4 cultural notes above against any prospective hire will help you make a more informed decision surrounding bringing on or turning away a new marketing member.