Startup Scaleup Speaker Spotlight: Hannah Fleishman – Inbound Recruiting Manager, HubSpot

This year’s Startup Scaleup features a number of sessions focused on surrounding yourself with the right team to help your business grow and thrive.

Hannah Fleishman knows a little bit about this topic. As the Inbound Recruiting Manager at Boston-based HubSpot, she is especially focused on how company culture impacts talent recruiting and retention.

In advance of her Startup Scaleup session, Hannah sat down with us to discuss HubSpot’s unique approach to company culture and offer a sneak peek into how that culture affects the talent recruiting process.

HubSpot employs something called the Culture Code. What is the Culture Code and what impact has it had on the company since its inception?
The HubSpot Culture Code is a living, breathing document of our company values and who we aspire to be. It tells the story of what it’s like to work at HubSpot. In the early days of HubSpot, our co-founder and CTO, Dharmesh Shah, dug into what makes our culture different by talking to employees and identifying patterns and trends. His findings are captured in the Culture Code.

Since being published on SlideShare in 2013, the deck has over three million views and is the top reason candidates say they’re interested in working at HubSpot. Not only has the Culture Code become a powerful recruiting tool, it’s an internal compass for our business as we scale. Having a manifesto of how we work and what we value helps us all stay aligned globally.

Very few companies say, “we don’t have a good culture.” With that in mind, how do you evaluate what actually makes a good company culture?
To evaluate if you truly have a great company culture and why, you must go straight to the source: your employees. Interview your top performers, host employee focus groups, take new employees to coffee, read every Glassdoor review about your company or send out a regular employee happiness survey. However, you choose to dig into the heart of your culture, listen to your employees and find the themes in their feedback.

Why is great culture important to the growth a business?
You can’t grow a business today without great people, period. But amazing people are becoming harder and harder to hire. Competition for talent is at an all-time high and the employers who will win are the ones who walk the walk on having a great culture.

Your candidates are reading your reviews on Glassdoor, they’re reaching out to your employees on LinkedIn to get the inside scoop and they’re searching for evidence that they’ll love coming into work every day. That’s why it’s critical to cultivate an engaging culture internally, and then tell that story externally to build your employer brand.

How does company culture change as a business grows? And what can companies do to ensure that change is positive?
Your core values shouldn’t change too much as you grow, but how they are practiced should change shape. For example, HubSpot’s Culture Code states that we love working with people who have “HEART” (Humble, Empathetic, Adaptable, Remarkable, and Transparency).

In the early days, it was relatively easy to see if someone was humble, for example, and reward employees who exemplified that trait. Today, we have over 2,500 employees in seven global offices, so identifying and hiring for humility requires more thought.

How are we screening for this trait in our interview process globally? How do we make sure new employees know what HEART stands for? What are creative ways we can celebrate humility that’s inclusive of all offices? These are the sorts of questions businesses need to ask themselves about their cultural values as they scale.

Cultural fit from an employer’s perspective is crucial to finding the right hire, but it’s just as important for employees to feel that the company is right for them as well. How can individuals assess a prospective employer’s culture to ensure a great fit?
Making a career change is a big choice, both professionally and personally. Top talent should be picky about who they choose to work for. Most candidates will do that through research; with a quick Google search, they can find information, testimonials and articles about your company culture. That’s why it’s important for companies today to be transparent and proactive in building their employer brand.

Are you creating and publishing content about your culture that’s easy for talent to find? Do you encourage employees to leave Glassdoor or Comparably reviews?

The more transparent you can be during their research phase, the fewer question marks they’ll have left about whether or not you’re the right fit for them.

You can hear more from Hannah about how to hire and retain great employees at her Startup Scaleup session—Using Great Company Culture to Grow Your Business. In this session, Hannah will dig deeper into strategies for discovering and defining your cultural values, understanding your candidate personas and using inbound marketing tactics to attract new talent to your business.

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