The hard work is over, the results are in and it is time for this year’s crop of school and university leavers to enter the workplace. Some may already started on their chosen career path but what sort of experience will the rest have as they search for a job?

In fact, school lever or not, what sort of experience is any individual receiving as they travel through the application, interview and appointment stage?

Yes I appreciate that hundreds of applications are received in respect of some posts; but you only get one chance to make a good impression runs the saying and that is as true for employers as it is for prospective employees. Your relationship with your new employee starts way before they set foot over the threshold and if you want them to gain a positive appreciation of your culture then it is never too soon to start.

Quite frankly, if you fail to acknowledge an application, are dictatorial in the interview stage and formal in appointing the position then you can talk about warm and inclusive cultures until you’re blue in the face but the prospective employee will know that your words are merely a sham. Similarly, if the induction process runs along the lines of ‘here is your desk, here is your paperwork, so-and-so will tell you what to do’ then you can forget any chance of building strong employee engagement at the start of the relationship.

The fact is that your organisation’s culture runs through everything that you do. It’s not a fancy slogan on the reception wall or a quick paragraph in the annual report. It’s not even a collection of values and behaviours drawn up at the last board meeting and it’s certainly not what you parrot out to prospective employees as part of your why you should work here speech.

Your culture is the DNA of your organisation. It drives employee engagement and customer excellence. It builds strong external relationships and it delivers innovative solutions. Your culture is not what you do but how you do it; and it is demonstrated in every action and interaction, every approach and decision and attitude. When you let that culture shine through your application process then you are already well on the way to building a great relationship with your prospective employees; helping them to assimilate the culture even before they step through the door.

How strong is your culture, how engaged your employees? Take a look at your on-boarding process and you may well find out.


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