Have you ever heard the term “organizational culture” or “company culture“? A lot has been written about this subject in the last few years and it has been a key ingredient for most successful business ventures, but defining what this is and what it means in terms of performance is a bit more complicated.
That’s because culture is an intangible concept. Broadly speaking, we can say that this is the modus operandi of your company and how things are done within the company. The values and the personal and collective experiences that define the organization are a great definition of the company culture.
What does the culture have to do with the success of a business? Brian Chesky, founder of AirBnb (the online platform leader in private rentals), explains it this way:
*If there is one thing that will last for 100 years, and has been part of all successful companies for more than 100 years, it has to be the culture. This creates the foundation for any sort of innovation”
Culture and processes
To understand how culture and values can shape a company, I was chatting with Georgina de Solà, Director of People Operations at Typeform (an online tool to collect data in a conversation for free).
One of the most outstanding aspects of Typeform, apart from their huge success of their product, are the HR processes,closely related to the corporate culture they adopted with their 152 employees. According to Georgina, their slogan, “make things a little more human”, is something the company also applies to its recruitment processes and staff management.
“We want the experience, before engaging in a process of selection, during and after their stay at Typeform (and even if they never join Typerform) to be the greatest” Says Georgina. “This includes their stay at Typeform and any offboarding. We apply the values in the selection process and in most of the decisions we make in regards to our staff. The team works properly because we hire people based on culture and this is an essential part of the process of hiring employees”
But this vision has not been always like this on the hr processes at Typeform. In the early days, many of the decisions to hire someone were based on “good feeling”. Georgina explains that the problem basically was that they had not defined what they were looking for, nor designed a process to detect it, especially when looking for too or more intangible abilities. The consequence? The time to find the perfect person, and hire her, was longer than expected. This became even more evident when the company raised its first round of financing and began to grow: it had to be hired faster and for that it was essential to scale the processes. There Georgina entered the scene, who was in charge of designing and leading the first processes of People.
Which has been the recruitment process through the different stages of financing and growth?
“Basically, we have professionalized and specialized our efforts. We have learned a lot throughout this process and I am sure that we still have a lot to learn. The team of People Operations has also grown and we have seen that works very well for people to act as people partner’s in a team because this helps them in with hiring issues and other issues related to human resources and talent enhancement.
This makes the level of knowledge and symbiosis is very high, as well as the level of mutual trust (which is very important)” highlights Georgina.
As a result of the professionalization of the hiring processes, Typeform reduced the “time to hiring” by 43%. The secret behind this achievement? Continuously iterate the processes and involve the managers of the different teams as part-time recruiters. “We try to get everyone involved in the selection, even if we are the ones who lead it.”
“We have evolved to create processes improvement committees spontaneously so that people can proactively contribute feedback and improvements. We have reached the point where the referrals program is now one of our largest (and best) sources of talent. It is a process of education and trust, and also learn to work and collaborate together. ” Basically, it was a change of mindset in the organization and its leaders.
If you had to choose words that define the culture of Typeform what would they be?
Our culture is defined by these aspects:
– Work Together to thrive
– Honesty to move forward
– Time for fun
– Passion to solve problems
– Search and innovate
Two things that you would like to improve?
Many! We will begin to promote the Learning and Development agenda and also Internal Communications with the addition of two people who have specialized in these issues.
Typeform shows us how the Human Resources department can help create processes and mechanisms that reflect and strengthen the organizational culture, through collaborative processes.
In addition, you can help to identify opportunities for professional growth for your colleagues, and improve the internal performance of your team.