When you started your company, you likely had some big dreams for growth. But growth can bring its own challenges, especially when it comes quickly. Bringing a lot of new people on board can disrupt your processes and dilute the culture you’ve worked so hard to build if you aren’t smart about how you hire.
Rodney Greenup faced those challenges with his companies Gulf South Engineering & Testing and Greenup Industries. His companies are hiring in a tight job market, but rather than just trying to fill jobs with whoever will do them, they make an effort to grow with people who will fit their culture.
Here’s how to sustain your company culture as you grow.
One of the best ways to ensure new employees buy into your company’s culture is to set expectations early, Greenup says. “My management team knows that they need to make it very clear to employees, so they come in knowing their expectations,” he says. “We want them to be successful. I feel if they’re successful and the client is seeing them first and all the time, then that’s my advertising.”
There are two main expectations, Greenup says. One is that employees go above and beyond their job descriptions. “Just because you show up for work every day and just because you do a really good job and you’re safe does not mean you can come in one year and ask us for a raise just because you were here for one year,” he says. The other is that employees look out for each other. At company events throughout the year, employees and their families spend time together, and Greenup says the message is that they’re all one team that looks out for each other.
As Greenup Industries grew, it started branching out into other states, which Greenup says wasn’t easy at first. The company hired an out-of-state employee on a recommendation from a client, and he turned out to be a good fit. “It turned out that he was the most qualified and the best, but it’s just different,” Greenup says — people from different geographic regions will have different personalities and cultures, he says.
As a result the company now relies on daily calls to touch base with remote employees and to make sure everyone’s on the same page. The company also uses Skype and Google Hangouts to communicate, and files are stored in the cloud so people can work on them no matter where they are. “There’s no reason for you not to access and communicate with one another,” he says.
Once you’ve set a clear vision for what you want as a company, communicate that vision through your recruiting. Greenup says a strong recruiting process helps communicate the company’s culture to potential candidates. “We don’t accept paper resumes, we don’t accept walk-ins — you have to go through the process so that we can line everybody up among one another,” he says. “You’re competing against each other first, and then the job posting second.”
The company also relies on employee referrals to get candidates who they feel might have something to offer to the organization, as well as promoting from within, Greenup says. Email lists, social media, online job boards, Louisiana Job Connection and professional associations round out the recruiting efforts.
Greenup says he has his eye on international opportunities as he builds his Louisiana-based services company, and his employees are the ones who will help it continue to grow.
Louisiana Job Connection is a full-service employment hub. Post a Louisiana job for free and connect with qualified candidates instantly.