Culture: The "Secret Sauce" for Your Recruitment Strategy - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Culture: The “Secret Sauce” for Your Recruitment Strategy

When you hear the phrase ‘company culture’ what comes to mind? Do you know what your company culture is?

“Organizations have a culture, whether they intentionally built it or not,” says Angela Hieronimus, director of engagement and success for Blades of Green, based in Edgewater, Maryland. “I think sometimes that’s a misconception.”

If you’re wanting to identify your company culture and learn how to use it as a recruiting tool, don’t miss Hieronimus’s session “Culture: The “Secret Sauce” for Your Recruitment Strategy” at ELEVATE on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 9 a.m. ET. This session is part of the Team Member Experience track and is worth one CEU.

Angela Hieronimus

“This session is all about uncovering some ways good culture can work to your advantage, especially in your recruitment efforts,” Hieronimus says. “Our people are the best indicator of our culture and they’re going to be the best advocates.”

When it comes to defining culture, Hieronimus says it isn’t just one thing, but really everything that makes up your company and the experience people have with it.

“I think the misconception is that culture is just related to your people,” Hieronimus says. “I think a big majority of culture is dedicated specifically to your people, but culture really encompasses anybody who has any type of experience with your company. That is a reflection of your company.” 

While having a mission statement and company values are great, if you’re not living them out every day, that’s not your company culture.

“It’s easy for people to put words on the wall and to say ‘Hey, these are our values, and this is our mission statement or our vision statement,’” Hieronimus says. “But the culture is actually your people buying into that and living and breathing that every day.”

If you’re trying to improve your company culture, Hieronimus suggests starting with asking your team why they like working at your company and what they want out of the company. Hieronimus stresses you shouldn’t try to be something you’re not, as disingenuous intentions are as bad as having bad culture.

When implementing changes, there has to be consistency and alignment across the board, and this starts at the top.

“Once a company has identified who they are, who they want to be, they really need to get buy-in from the top because if it’s not coming from the top, it’s just not going work,” she says.

Hieronimus says sometimes people think culture is an HR problem, but it is everyone’s job to help foster a good company culture. Culture does not develop overnight, but every day and every year, you can build on what you have and make it better with small changes.

“I think sometimes people think culture is this grandiose thing you have to invest all of this time and all this energy and all this work,” Hieronimus says. “And yes, it is work. You need to be intentional about it, but really you can build that culture with just very simple things.”

One of the simple gestures that Blades of Green does is mailing $20 Dominos gift cards to their new hires so they can have dinner with their family to celebrate. While it doesn’t cost much, it makes a lasting impression on their new hires.

As for how to leverage your culture with recruiting, your people are your best advocates for your company. They are the ones going out in the community and telling other people about your organization.

Hieronimus suggests arming them with tools such as ‘now hiring’ cards they can give to interested individuals. Blades of Green also highlights their culture on social media and encourages others to join the team. She recommends sharing about your company culture in job postings as well, rather than just the basic job description.

Every touchpoint with your company, from the time a person applies to when they’re hired, should be a positive experience and drive home your culture.

Want to learn how to evaluate your culture and leverage it? Register for ELEVATE and we’ll see you in Orlando, Florida!

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.