Sustaining the core values of a company's culture is an integral part of the company's continuing success. In the beginning, a startup is defined by its founders, and its initial expansion may be fueled by taking on friends and ex-classmates as personnel. If the business takes off, though, and grows out of the initial startup phase, you are faced with the necessity of hiring talented new employees who can help take it to the next level.
Bringing in new personnel while at the same time maintaining your core company culture during rapid growth is a crucial part of your company's development.
When you realize your business is growing out of its startup infancy and you need to hire the right people to enable it to continue to grow, be sure to keep the company's culture in mind. The culture may have begun by following the lead of the personal habits of its founders—a relaxed atmosphere, playing music in the office, casual Fridays, etc.—but to accommodate the needs of a larger workforce, these values may need to be reassessed.
Take the time to figure out and write down the values and principles that define your company culture. If you prefer to maintain flexibility in work hours and dress code, make it a company policy. If you want to maintain openness and access of personnel to executives, build that into your system. When bringing new people in, a clearly defined company culture is easier to preserve and protect.
Once you have determined the core cultural values integral to your company, it is easier to evaluate new personnel in terms of adaptability. Part of the application process should include the delineation of what is expected of new personnel in conforming to the cultural patterns of the rest of the workforce. Applicants would disqualify themselves either by admission or by attitude if they felt they would not be able to conform. Though you may regret losing someone with talents or skills necessary at this stage, it is better to forego hiring someone who is not committed or who cannot assimilate into the company's culture rather than have to deal with incompatibility problems later on.
When hiring new personnel, make it clear to them that there will be an initial period of orientation and integration. Some companies implement this with a one- or two-week intensive orientation period. At the end of this time, new employees are again interviewed to determine their level of commitment and are offered compensation if they want to leave. Other companies hire a company culture overseer to provide orientation and help new personnel through their first few days of work.
Maintaining a viable company culture offers continuity and a sense of well-being. Keeping these three things in mind when hiring new personnel will allow you to add talent that will be a helpful addition to your company and what it has to offer. Sometimes when a company expands rapidly it is desirable to get a short term office rental for additional space if current accommodations are too small. Be sure personnel are in place who can oversee the maintenance of company culture in a remote location.