Taking culture fit into account when hiring a new employee is not a new concept. But even organizations with incredibly sophisticated recruitment and hiring systems often neglect to apply that same filter to their flexible marketing talent: contractors, freelancers, consultants, etc.
This is a potentially critical oversight. Just because someone is not a full-time employee doesn’t mean that they aren’t a part of your culture when working with you. Here’s why you should consider culture fit when choosing which independent contractors and marketing staffing agencies to work with.
Maximizing the Value of Your Contract Marketing Staffing
As with all other things in marketing, your flexible workforce strategy should be made with ROI as the ultimate goal.
It’s been shown time and again that organizations that include culture fit as a main consideration for bringing in new talent outperform those that don’t. And according to the Society for Human Resource Management, the cost of increased churn rate and turnover due to culture fit can exceed 50% of that talent’s annual compensation.
This isn’t a complicated idea; workers with an attitude, character and work ethic that reflects your business’s priorities and compliments the day-to-day workplace environment are happier, can be onboarded more quickly, produce better work and get along better with the rest of the team. That’s true in all departments and of all contributors to the business, whether they’re full-time executives or temp workers. But culture fit is more important in some parts of the organization than others, and in marketing perhaps most of all.
They Affect the Rest of Your Team
The productivity of your interim marketers is likely to be affected by how well they fit into the culture of your workplace and corporate values. But perhaps more importantly, their culture fit will also affect the rest of your marketing team and others that they engage with in the business.
Most marketing execution of any kind today requires a lot of collaboration and communication, and your contract marketing staffing will typically work best when it’s well-integrated with your department. But a contractor or interim marketing consultant that doesn’t mesh with your culture can have a ripple effect that drags down those around them in the organization. A weak culture fit can disrupt team dynamics, lower morale and job satisfaction, and negatively impact the quality and quantity of marketing production.
You Might Want Them Around Longer Than You Expected
If you’re just taking on a freelancer for a few days’ worth of independent work, then culture fit is probably of minimal importance.
But in the uncertain and ever-changing work of marketing, the scope of your projects can sometimes change quickly and you’ll find you want your contract marketing staffing talent around longer than you’d originally anticipated. In cases like this, a contract you’d anticipated only lasting a month could stretch to a year or more. You may even consider hiring a contractor full-time if you discover the work they’re doing could go on indefinitely.
Try Before You Buy: How to Take Marketing Talent for a Test Drive before Committing to a “Purchase”
You never know when you might need to drastically extend a contract or consider bringing an interim marketing consultant onto your team full time. But the longer a marketer works with you, the more important his or her culture fit becomes–you don’t want someone lingering in your workplace that just isn’t meant to be there. Ensuring proper culture fit for your workplace from the beginning of the staffing process gives you more flexibility to confidently keep your contractors around for a longer period of time if the need arises.
Maintaining a Strong Employer Brand
Everyone you bring into your organization to work can have a long-term impact on your employer brand.
Imagine a situation where you choose a talented contractor that ends up not thriving in your business. Maybe their personality clashed with some of the more outspoken leaders in the team, or their preferred method of execution didn’t align with how your marketing operates.
When their contract ends they’ll likely leave on poor terms, perhaps thinking that your department is disorganized or perceiving hostile work environment. In reality there may be nothing wrong with you or the contractor–you just don’t have a culture and personality that match. But the damage has already been done, and that marketer may share their negative experience with others in the industry.
Employer brand has never been more important to attracting top marketers. High-performing marketing talent with a proven history of success can afford to be picky with where they choose to work, and if your business develops a reputation of having a poor work atmosphere, they’ll look elsewhere for both full-time and contract roles. Making sure your interim marketers have what it takes to thrive in your workplace not just from a skills perspective but a cultural one as well ensures the most positive experience possible, which reflects on your employment brand and makes your business a magnet for top performers.