Culture Fit in The Hiring Process: A Case Study with Punch Pizza

Posted by Kurt Rakos on 7/31/14 2:04 PM
Kurt Rakos
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Getting your culture fit right in the hiring process is vital to the long-term success of every business. Get it wrong and the consequences are twofold. Not only does your organization face the additional costs that come with replacing a departing employee but also a disgruntled and often demoralized workforce as yet another new starter didn’t work out.

At SkyWater, getting the right culture fit is crucial not only to our success but to the success of our clients. Josh Schneider, a valued member of our Finance and Accounting search team, recently summed up our culture as ‘genuine, fun and celebratory’. Our recent award as the #1 Best Small Company To Work from Minnesota Business further cements what we strive to achieve.

While we can wax lyrical on the virtues of SkyWater Search and provide numerous reasons why organizations should work with us, how does that translate when recruiting talent for our clients?

Our recent search assignment with Punch Pizza epitomizes our approach. It also provides a great example of the opportunity to work with an employer that promotes a positive company culture.

Punch Pizza co-owner John Puckett approached us earlier this year to recruit the company’s first Financial Controller. In the video, John explains how he discovered SkyWater following an online search for ‘financial executive recruiters in the Twin Cities’. He also explains the qualities he was looking for not only in the candidate in this case, but also in the search firm who would carry out this assignment. This aspect of the search was equally important to John.

The candidate profile required a carefully balanced combination of future leadership potential and an immediate hands-on approach. As SkyWater’s co-founder-founder Tony Fornetti also explains in the video, identifying the qualifications and skills needed in a candidate is fairly straightforward. The ‘finishing touch’ arises from culture fit which Tony defines as ‘culture is people… and how people operate amongst each other’.

To understand the culture fit for this role, SkyWater spent time on-site with Punch Pizza in order to gain invaluable insight into what makes their company so successful. What was the secret to their success? We apply the same principles to all of our searches in order to find the best available candidate for every single role.

From the time that SkyWater was engaged by Punch Pizza to carry out this search to the date of the successful candidate’s acceptance was seven weeks. The candidate commenced employment with Punch in March 2014.

The result? Another satisfied employer and one delighted candidate.

In this instance, our ability to attract talented candidates to explore the opportunity with Punch Pizza was also enhanced by the positive company culture. Punch Pizza hit the headlines earlier this year following their announcement of their intention to raise the minimum wage of their workers leading to a significant boost in employee morale. Such was the impact of their decision that President Obama referred directly to in the State of the Union address back in January.

If your organization is struggling to attract the talent you need to succeed, your culture may be the reason. Typical symptoms of a negative company culture include high levels of employee absenteeism and turnover, coupled with the consistent failure of your teams to meet their performance objectives. Don’t under-estimate the impact of a toxic culture on your ability to hire talent. You may also find our article on 8 ways to improve your company culture helpful.


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Topics: HR, Workplace Culture