Cosmo Tech is not your average French workplace.
With more than 65 employees, including 17 Ph.D.’s, recruited from universities and companies around the world, the Lyon-based technology company has developed a unique corporate culture based around four core values: enthusiasm, excellence, team spirit, and pioneer spirit. These values are central to the work that Cosmo Tech does for its roster of leading businesses managing some of Europe’s most critical infrastructure and they are also an increasingly important element when it comes to recruiting new ‘Cosmonauts’ to the team.
“Research has demonstrated that the values of a company play an important role in attracting and retaining talented,” says Cosmo Tech Human Resources Manager Clémentine Laurent. “In one study nearly 60 percent of candidates revealed they would refuse a job offer from a company that did not share their values, and more than 90 percent of recruiters believed communicating on their values is an essential part of the recruitment process.”
Cosmo Tech’s recruiting processes have been designed to both communicate the core values of the company and to ensure the best cultural fit amongst potential employees. More than just a presentation of flash-cards or a summary statement delivered in a pre-interview email, Cosmo Tech’s recruiting team has placed values at the center of their discussions with future Cosmonauts.
Office Manager Shanti Mentec explain that there are a number of good reasons to focus on values throughout the recruiting process.
“First and foremost, making it clear what the company values are also makes adhering to those values easier,” says Mentec. “It also means there are no bad surprises when someone is hired, and that a new team member can feel confident and reassured they belong from their first day on the job.”
It is easier for a new employee to contribute to the company when they understand the values of the company, and far easier to plan for promotion and advancement in a company where the shared values are clearly outlined. It also means that a new employee can engage their motivation and enthusiasm from day one safe in the knowledge that they are culturally aligned with the company as a whole.
Adding Value and Avoiding Waste
As well as making things easier for future employees the new hiring practices are helping the company avoid wasted time and effort, too.
“No company wants to hire the wrong person,” explains Laurent, “Making sure that the person who is joining the team is the very best fit for the position and for Cosmo Tech is therefore not only good for the new hire but also a direct cost saving for the company as a whole.”
Indeed, so important are values to the recruiting process now that even a candidate with strong technical skills would find their application declined if there was a conflict in values.
“Having the Cosmonauts aligned around enthusiasm, excellence, and working as a team with a pioneering spirit is something that can only happen when the values of new team members are aligned with the company,” Laurent says. “Technical skills can always be improved but values have to be embraced and lived, we really can’t expect to teach those.”
Putting Values Recruiting into Practice
Laurent explains the practical steps that Cosmo Tech has taken to integrate values into the recruiting practices of the company.
“We’ve created a specific HR interview with all candidates invited to interview for a position face-to-face but we’ve dispensed with all the traditional questions,” she says. “We use short exercises and practical games to uncover their personalities and help them to demonstrate their interpersonal skills. We take careful note of how closely the candidate aligns with our values, with particular attention paid to their openness, their willingness to take the initiative and ask questions, their capacity to adapt to challenging situations, and their ability to work in a group.”
Mentec concurs and adds, “At the end of the interview we present Cosmo Tech’s four core values and offer some concrete examples of how we live those values every day. It’s a fantastic chance to demonstrate how our values are more than just words on a page.”