Creating Core Values

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Creating Core Values & Recruiting Top Talent

PEOPLE SPOTLIGHT:  Janna Biagio, Director of People at Celmatix

Janna joined Celmatix in 2016 to build the People Team from the ground up. With her unique background in marketing and operations, Janna has brought a fresh approach to her execution of People initiatives, particularly in her establishment of company core values and scalable recruiting efforts.

“Culture can be defined as the way we work. It’s innate, and it’s always in flux. Culture will change as a company grows and scales, so putting your finger on it can be challenging. The definition will need to evolve as the company does.”

Core values are a great way to establish culture pillars and set the tone for employees who are working hard to realize a company’s mission. To ensure that employees really live by the core values, Janna strongly suggests including employees in the core values development process. Core values should differ from those of the mission or value statement, which is often written in the voice of the company.

Janna has a blueprint for establishing a Core Values Task Force to craft company values, but stresses that it should be an iterative and creative process. No two companies will run the same process, and it’s important that the core values ring true for employees once revealed.

A team of three, the Celmatix People Team is currently working hard to incorporate the company’s brand new core values into the fabric of daily life. For instance, there is a “shout-out” channel in Slack, the company’s main communication tool besides email, where employees can thank each other for going above and beyond. Janna and her team has made sure that the new values are tags for each shout-out. In the coming months, they are working to include core values in the performance management and recruiting processes.

While a strong culture, exemplified by core values, is key for retaining top talent, it’s also an essential ally during the recruitment process. The NYC start-up market is a competitive one, and Celmatix competes with the best to secure highly sought-after candidates.

The Celmatix People Team turns towards tech and marketing tactics to stay ahead of the game. All Celmatix job descriptions are SEO-optimized through TapRecruit to ensure that the right candidates are finding the role online and that job descriptions aren’t too wordy. They also use AI bots to automate the interview scheduling and new hire onboarding processes. This affords Janna’s team the time to focus on the part of their roles that requires a human touch.

Janna and Lauren Sachar, Manager of People and Recruiting at Celmatix, have overseen the company’s recruiting efforts as the team has more than doubled in size in the last 18 months. They have worked hard to create a standard process that is manageable and successful.

The number one thing I learned from HR peers about a best-in-class recruiting process is that a recruiting kick-off meeting [with the hiring manager, interview team, and recruiting lead in attendance] is 100% necessary and non-negotiable.”

This initial meeting allows the hiring team to bounce ideas and questions off one another about the role and the recruiting goals. It also allows the team to ensure that the job description [often crafted by a member of the People Team and the hiring manager in a vacuum] addresses everyone’s needs for this new position. It also clears up any misunderstandings about how this new hire will fit in to future projects and tasks. If this meeting doesn’t happen before the start of the interview process, it may be challenging to find alignment in interview scorecards and, worse yet, the candidate may receive mixed messages about the role and company.

When asked about the biggest recruiting ‘No-No,’ Janna has this advice:

“Always be in communication with every candidate at every stage – even if it’s just a quick note to say that more news will be coming shortly. Going dark works against all the hard work you’ve done to source and attract the candidate.”

Developing culture, core values, and a scalable recruitment process can be overwhelming on a lean People Team within an organization that is rapidly growing. But, Celmatix’s People Team demonstrates that clear communication and innovative processes make rapid growth manageable.

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