A culture playbook can help you hire the perfect team member

O*NO Legal Founding Director Kristen Porter said she was inspired to create a culture playbook by The Property Collective’s Hannah Gill, and focused on bringing together a document that clearly set out the values and ethics that underpin what her business stands for, the way it is to operate and the ethos behind the company goals.

She is currently using it in her search for a new business development manager after previously using it to hire team members with great success.

“We have found it incredibly useful in the hiring process to find team members that align with O*NO Legal’s values and what matters most to us,” Ms Porter said. 

“What we do is actually give the shortlisted candidates the playbook because not only will it help us find the right team member, people that don’t fit those values will bow out.

“It works both ways. It’s not just us determining who’s a good fit, but the talent really has a say too.

“We’re saying, ‘This is who we are. Are we going to be a good fit for you as well?’”

To create the culture playbook, Ms Porter sat down with her team to brainstorm what should and shouldn’t be included.

While some people suggested the playbook should come from the top down, Ms Porter said that didn’t fit with the culture she wanted O*NO Legal to stand for.

“Our culture is that we’re really inclusive, and everyone has a say,” she explained.

“It’s not just the lawyers, it’s not just the senior managers, we’re very inclusive.

“One of the mottos in our culture playbook is, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

The two things O*NO Legal “protects at all costs” are the client experience it delivers and the team’s mental health.

Ms Porter said the new BDM role would not just incorporate finding new business and sales, but involve a client success element as well.

“We are walking the walk, not just talking the talk,” she said.

Another way O*NO Legal uses its culture playbook is in performance reviews, and Ms Porter said it’s a great way for businesses to measure achievement.

“It’s a way to make sure we are living these values, and it isn’t just a pretty booklet that everyone gets at induction, and that’s it,” she said.

Specifically for the BDM role, Ms Porter said she wasn’t looking for a lawyer, but someone with extensive real estate experience, perhaps someone who has run their own office.

“This person will not only come in and do sales and traditional BDM tasks, but will help us design products to fill any market needs,” she said.

“It’s about listening to our clients and giving them what they want as opposed to lawyers sitting back and saying, we think we know what agents want.”

With the culture playbook guiding her, Ms Porter is sure she can find the perfect fit.

For more information, you can email Ms Porter at

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.

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