Candidate and company psychology fascinates me. It is organic and fluid and is a mirror into both a company’s culture and the ever-evolving view of what a candidate feels they are entitled to.
There is a company that I have never recruited for, yet I have taken a lot of their people. In my world the true measure of a company’s culture is how easy is to turn their leaders’ heads.
They are incredibly active on LinkedIn – trumpeting everything from employee driven charitable causes to their new internal HR branding. It seems like food trucks are at their locations in perpetuity. Yet, I get a resume nearly every time I call their people.
So, what is culture in a company from the perspective of someone trying to poach your people?
Do your leaders know where they stand with you?
Do you tolerate mediocre performance?
Do you reward and compensate based on tenure and longevity or are you a meritocracy?
Do you navigate the tough waters with the same aplomb that you trumpet your successes?
Do you onboard with class and allow exits with professionalism?
When I poach people, the above 5 areas come out at some point in time. I do not know what my next step is. I am not compensated in relation to my performance. I see them promoting the political over the substantive. I do not feel we train well. If I resign, they will toss their toys out of the pram.
Culture is represented in consistent impactful behavior. It is not a tagline or some sort of HR branding. If it is, when I call, I will take your people. Every single time.
Culture is the sum of your leader’s daily behavior – that is it. Get all the ice cream trucks you want, but if you treat your people with a sense of entitlement, it will get you a place at the victims’ table very quickly.

Brent Billing is a Senior Director of Client Services at Lecours Group. He has been with Lecours for 22 years.