Episode 168.5 – Green Apple Slice


How Important is Corporate Culture for Employee Recruiting?



The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or an Android app.

This week, John and Rachel discuss a CPA Practice Advisor article, “How Important is Corporate Culture for Employee Recruiting?” by Isaac M. O’Bannon.


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    Good morning. It’s John Garrett coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices. I have on the phone the Accountants & Alliances for Sage Canada, Rachel Fisch.

    Rachel: Hey, John. How are you?

    John: Doing great. Getting ready to kick off a New Year here in the US. I don’t know in Canada. You guys have New Year’s Eve, right?

    Rachel: Yes, we do. We do. Yeah.

    John: You guys have calendars? What?

    Rachel: It’s new.

    John: Crazy. But yeah, it’s been a really great year. It’s been just amazing, all the episodes that we’ve done and that you continue to pick up the phone. Somewhere out there, there’s got to be a pool going of, “When’s the time Rachel is not going to pick up?” That person is going to win so much money.

    Rachel: I’m not going to say anything.

    John: Because you actually have money in the hat on that?

    Rachel: It’ll be a good vacation. That’s all.

    John: Right. But this was an article that we found on CPA Practice Advisor. Isaac O’Bannon wrote it. It’s, “How Important is Corporate Culture for Employee Recruiting?”

    Rachel: Recruiting, yes. I love this because to me, it is easier I think — you can fight me on this — easier to recruit new, better culture than it is to try to change the mindset of existing employees, even when we talk about digital transformation and things like that. We even talked about, “So how does if you’re adopting Cloud technology and AI and tools like that? How does this actually change how you look for employees?” Some of the things that you’re trying to work on internally, if you keep your recruiting and your hiring processes the same, you will not get out of that rut. It’s going to be much more difficult to try to make the change that you want to see within your organization if you don’t also take a look at how that affects your hiring and recruiting practices.

    John: Yeah. They make a really controversial point there, Rachel. At the end of the year, you’re going to start setting emails. Twitter’s going to be on fire. We’re going to have the freaking some PR people that take care of this. But that is an interesting point. When it comes to culture perspective, solely culture, then yes, I think hiring outside for people that fit is easier than changing people that are already there and do something that you want different. However, when it comes to skill sets and output and work productivity, it’s probably not the case. Because new people have to get trained up. But long run, it’s probably a better scenario. But for sure, I mean I think that people don’t understand how much people care about culture nowadays.

    Rachel: Absolutely.

    John: You know that the kids coming out of school are like, “Why is John so old? Why did he just call me kids?” But the people that are coming out of college are asking that question like, “What’s the culture like there?” There are firms that can’t answer that question. Because they don’t know.

    Rachel: Yeah. Talking to friends of mine who still have their own firms and their own practices, I know that finding great staff is very challenging. But overwhelmingly across the board, the priority has to be on fit. You can teach the skills. You can review processes. You can do all of that stuff. But there has to be a good fit. Let’s talk about what some of these findings were from this Robert Half. The article itself is basically discussing this Robert Half study. What it says is that, “More than a third of the workers, in the US at 35% and 40% in Canada, would not accept a job that was a perfect match if the corporate culture clashed.” That to me is, “It’s perfect job on paper, but I’m going to hate working there.”

    John: Yeah. I mean kudos to them for recognizing that, “Yeah, it’s a big pay check. It’s a job. But I’m going to be miserable and want to quit within three months.” That’s another thing that I think is interesting. As well as when I was coming out of school. It’s like, “Anybody that would give you a job, you take it.” But nowadays, it’s not the case. Then it goes on even saying, “Ninety percent of managers, if a candidate is fit with the organizational culture is equal to…” There they said that the organizational fit with the culture is equal to or more important than their skills and experience, which is, “Well, hello?”

    Rachel: It’s like overwhelmingly, yeah.

    John: I mean the auditor in me says, “Immaterial difference.” We just round up to 100%. But I mean that’s huge. Because I mean that also proves the point that you can teach skills and you can get the experience, but you can’t necessarily teach the soft skills or the human side of who you are and the organizational culture fit, which is what you brought up in the beginning.

    Rachel: It is a little bit. It’s almost like I knew what was coming here, what we’re going to talk about. But one thing I found that’s really interesting was if you actually dig into — it mentions it briefly in the article — but if you actually click on the study and go into, I think, at roberthalf.com, it talks about the words that workers use to describe their ideal versus their current corporate culture.

    Basically, it’s if you fit the descriptors of the ideal, that’s awesome. You’re more proactive. You’ll probably get a good job finding people that fit. If you have the qualities of the current ones, you might want to take a look at that. Overwhelmingly, that word is traditional. Traditional is not a positive word. When you talk to people and talk about their firm, “Oh, we have a traditional firm.” That’s usually not a firm that people are flocking to go and work at, right? Yet sometimes it feels like there is some pride in being a traditional firm. I’m like, “Well, not if you want to exist five years from now.”

    John: Exactly. But it definitely overwhelmingly, the article and the study just shows how much your culture matters when it comes to attracting and retaining top talents which is one of the biggest issues facing the profession for the past two, three years. It matters. It’s important. It’s something that you need to not just let be organic but you need to be intentional with and be focused on.

    Rachel: That’s right.

    John: With that being said, I hope you have a fun New Year’s Eve. Next Monday, you aren’t in jail doing the call from there. Because you’re making one call. It’s going to be for the podcast so that will be weird.

    Rachel: It’s going to be it. Yeah. That’s it.

    John: Exactly. But, everybody, let’s save New Year’s Eve. Check out greenapplepodcast.com if you want to read all the articles that we talked about. Don’t forget to hit subscribe. We’ll talk to you next year.

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