Company Culture is Key

    With the current influx of Millennials joining corporate America, we need to address issues they place a premium on if we expect to succeed in recruiting and keeping top talent.

    Millennials are a “team oriented generation” so it’s important for them to feel connected. This new generation values building solid relationships with their peers and this includes the people they work with. They’re not the type to embrace a typical 9 to 5 job like their parents did. In considering jobs, Millennials want to know how they’re going to feel at work.

    As a senior recruiter and a Millennial myself, I am always being asked “Do you like working here? Are the people nice and welcoming? Do you go for happy hour together after work? I am very fortunate that I can answer yes to all these questions, but what they’re really asking about is the CULTURE.

    Company culture is the heart and soul of a company. This is expressed in the atmosphere in which employees work. But company culture is not just the work environment it also includes the company’s mission, ethics, values, goals and expectations. These are usually all laid out in the mission statement. 

    What is your mission statement? Does your agency live by this mantra? Or is it simply a wordy statement that no one pays much attention to? Your mission statement plays a vital role as it creates that all-important first impression you make on the world at large. The mission statement is also what sets the tone for your agency culture.


    The good news is that you are in control of establishing your company culture. You can also use it to your advantage as a powerful recruiting tool. Is the culture at your agency warm and inviting? Or would you say it’s the total opposite, with an ice-cold “get it done at no cost” mentality? Stop and think for a moment about what behaviors are celebrated at your agency. Who are the all-stars and how do you reward them? Your answers will guide you in revealing the type of culture embedded in your agency and help you determine what changes may be needed if you are going to attract and keep top job candidate among Millennials.   


    Once your mission statement or mantra has been formulated and stated, commit to following it in every aspect of the company. The entire executive management team must agree with the mission statement and the agency culture that follows. Everyone else, especially new recruits, will fall in line feeding off the vibes from management. Make sure everyone understands it; from the CEO to the receptionist and that all participate in the same agency culture. To maintain continuity it is very important that each employee be held accountable. 


    How are you communicating within your agency? Is it by email? Voicemail? Text messages? All these ways may be perfectly fine, but something as easy as setting up a closed group Facebook page can really help in making everyone feel connected. We all have very busy lives, but thankfully social media has helped in pulling people together. Speaking from my own experience, after creating a Facebook page to help me recruit it ended up being used by everyone working here to keep in touch.

    With such a large agency, having so many different age groups and experience levels, it’s nice having a place where we can all come together. It doesn’t matter where we are in the world, we can connect within seconds. How can you use social media in a way that can enhance communication and connectedness as part of your agency culture? I see that by having this Facebook page, retention has improved at our agency. 


    Very early on we decided that we were going to have to sell ourselves in order to attract top talent. We would need to show our personalities and not be 100 percent corporate. This meant that some employees put Buddha in their offices and we have legos and nerf play guns in others, etc. It’s clearly an agency with personality. We are very professional, but we allow everyone the freedom to express him or herself and to show their personality. After all, in sales you have to stand out from the crowd!

    One of my most effective recruiting tools is our agency culture. I cannot tell you how many prospects, of all different levels of experience, have arrived at the agency for an interview and observed our office culture in all its glory. I see how awed they are at how much everyone genuinely likes each other, of the warm conversations taking place and the overall family feel that our agency has built. Every office displays the personality of the people inhabiting it. This does make an impression on prospects!

    You too have a company culture, we all do. Ask yourself if it is the type of culture your agency needs?  If not, the best part is that you can always reinvent.


    To hear more recruiting tips from Melissa Aguilar, check out GAMA International's newest product and best seller at LAMP '16...Next Ideas for Online Recruiting

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    Melissa Aguilar has been the Recruiting Director in the South Florida MassMutual Agency for eight years. The agency was recognized by MassMutual as one of the top five leading MassMutual agencies in the country with success in identifying and hiring quality talent while managing and cultivating new and existing relationships in the community. She and her team currently hold the highest recruiting record at MassMutual with 66 agents in 2014 and 75 agents in 2015.
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