New data about the ideal work environments of people in the UK has shown that HR managers lead the way in their desire for a modern way of work. But is that as good as it sounds?
In this article I’ll argue that on average HR professionals don’t represent an accurate benchmark of culture fit for companies. And why this is really problematic when it comes to hiring.
A bit of background:
Here at ThriveMap® we’re addicted to data.
Using the ThriveMap® survey, we’ve gathered data on how people like to work and used it to identify the differences in how people from different departments perceive an ideal workplace culture to be.
By integrating the ThriveMap® survey into our sister employer branding platform at TalentRocket, we’ve been able to break ideal work environments down by job roles, which has generated some surprising results.
Today we’re going to talk about the HR role itself, and how it relates to other parts of the industry:
How Different Departments Like To Work
ThriveMap measures the responses to questions based on the following 5 criteria: how things get done, how decisions are made, how people interact, how performance is measured, and how you grow your career.
Let’s delve into the data, by looking at 3 important team characteristics and how internal departments/teams indexed their preferences across thousands of respondents.
As you might expect, those who prefer to work in a procedural team culture are looking for roles where that preference is typically an indicator of strong technical competence — e.g. in the quality/testing, legal and admin departments.
As the data shows, people working in an HR role, had strong preferences for:
- Getting things done in an organic way
- Interacting with others in a sensitive way
- Being judged as a team rather than as individuals
Whilst this is seemingly commendable and progressive, our findings also show that HR professionals have a strong preference for different work environments to the general population.
Why does it matter?
The HR team are almost always responsible for the oversight and execution of the recruitment and assessment processes. Part of these processes is understanding and decoding the culture fit for the team they’re hiring into.
What our data highlights, is that HR professionals don’t represent an average benchmark of culture fit for the company. Which makes their assessment of it problematic.
All teams work in different ways and candidates are typically going to be less extreme than HR in their workplace preferences. Care should be taken to avoid solely comparing individuals with the HR benchmark of culture fit. As this definition will be heavily influenced by the view of it’s creator.
Instead it’s essential to find ways to match candidates work preferences with the specific teams they would be working with.
When it comes to culture, HR often represent the aspirational extreme rather than the team reality. They’re ahead of the trend towards more open, collaborative and sensitive work places. Measuring against specific team fit criteria rather than a blanket approach to company cultural competency is critical to hiring success.
We’re not saying this data means HR should give up leading the way in changing work cultures. It’s a gradual process of change, you’ll just have to give the rest of us a chance to catch up.
You can read more about ThriveMap® at https://getthrivemap.com.