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What's Our Secret? One Thing That Helps Make Us an Awesome Company

October 23, 2014

462395627Here at Select, we constantly talk about company culture. Culture is at the heart of what we do – we help our client partners hire for cultural fit by identifying candidates who fit their organizational environment. Likewise, Select puts a great emphasis on cultural fit when we hire for our own open positions. We also look at other companies to see what they’re doing, and what makes their cultures the way they are. Recently, we’ve written about Google, Boston Brewing Company, and held a webinar with Sears about their culture.

The other day, I was reading an article in Inc. Magazine that wrote about the importance of company culture. The article stated that leaders of many companies cherish their company culture more than any other strategy or intellectual property. Immediately, this made me of think of the company I work for. Culture is something we value more than anything else here at Select. We call it the “Select Way”, and our company culture is really important to us.

This got me thinking about what makes Select International’s culture awesome. I don’t want to boast (okay, yes I do), but Select is annually recognized as a Top Workplace. That distinction doesn’t come easily. It requires effort and vigilance. We spend a lot of time looking at our core values to make sure we are not straying from what makes us a great place to work. In fact, that’s one of the things the Inc. Magazine article mentions. It states, “Make sure that [team members] are absolutely clear about the identity and direction of the company, and that they act in ways that indicate they are aligned.

The article goes on to state, “Reinforce [culture] through hiring. Although most executives pay lip service to the idea of hiring for cultural fit, few have the courage or discipline to make it the primary criteria for bringing someone into the company.” That’s a really important point. At Select, we have a clearly defined culture. We hire for cultural fit. We don’t focus solely on education, experience, knowledge, and capability. Although those are very important things to assess, cultural fit trumps them all.

Here are things we look for at Select:

  1. Genuinely caring about our clients’ success. By hiring people who care about results, we delight our customers – our most important asset.
  2. Genuinely caring about each others’ success. Titles don’t mean much at Select. Everyone pitches in and does whatever it takes to deliver for our internal and external customers. Because peoples’ contributions are so highly valued by the team, everyone is motivated to excel.
  3. Showing an entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen. Innovative thinking is paramount at Select. It allows us to be agile and get things done efficiently. Plus, knowing how the company makes money allows the company to make and keep more of it. Everyone is encouraged to sell.
  4. Having fun. We list "Sense of Humor" as a requirement in our job postings. Who wants to work with someone who isn’t fun to be around?

This is what works for us. Hiring for cultural fit is as unique as each company. Successful companies understand this and include cultural assessment as part of their hiring process. Going back to the Inc. Magazine article, I agree with the author’s conclusion. That is, “you’ll be able to have lower hiring costs, higher employee retention, better word-of-mouth marketing, and greater customer loyalty.



Doug Wolf Doug Wolf was the Chief Executive Officer at Select International, which was acquired by PSI. He works extensively with organizations that have large‐scale, national and global staffing needs. His expertise includes competency‐based job analysis, selection system design, validation, applicant sourcing, automated testing, virtual job auditions, structured interviewing, applicant tracking, reducing risk in the selection process, OFCCP and EEOC compliance reporting, and turnover analyses.