August 28 2020 - A businessís survival is not entirely dependent on executive leadership. Rather, it is the talent of workers at all areas of a business that have dictates whether a business rises to the heights of success, or fails spectacularly. This makes every human resource (HR) pro a key figure in their chosen industry. The efficacy of the strategies and standards they choose to implement determines their ability to attract the best and brightest. Over recent years, the concept of company culture has pushed to the forefront for candidates seeking to join a business.
What do we mean by company culture? It goes much further than just incentives and the occasional fun event. Itís the environmental, social, and ethical cornerstones that characterize the company and everyone who works within it. Itís a set of core values that runs through everything the company does to have a positive, holistic effect upon operations and surrounding environments. It is integral to innovation, and a recent study showed that 35% of candidates would pass on a seemingly perfect job offer if there was a cultural clash.
So letís take a closer look at why company culture is so vital in attracting the top talent to your business. What aspects are contributory to a solid positive culture? How can you make meaningful adjustments that show that your business is one that excellent employees want to contribute to?
1. Culture Reflects Priorities
For candidates, corporate culture is a key indicator of the ideas and values that a business places above all others. Priorities for both businesses and employees will certainly shift, thatís just human nature. But itís important to keep a clear set of core elements consistently visible throughout everything the business does. This way potential employees have the opportunity to see what ethics, issues, and activities matter beyond profit generation.
Why is this important in attracting candidates? When you are searching to onboard a new employee, youíre unlikely to be looking for someone who can just perform a series of tasks. In the ideal world, youíre after a candidate who will enter into a meaningful collaboration with the business. The top talent will be people who are willing to work with colleagues and executives alike to innovate. When the companyís culture reflects similar priorities to the top candidates, you have the opportunity to forge stronger bonds because you are both striving toward achieving common goals based on a similar set of core values you share.
Itís clear that strong company culture can have a significant impact on productivity, costs, and lead to sustainable growth. Quite aside from improving employee performance, it can have a cyclical effect on attracting great employees. Employee satisfaction due to strong culture results in a positive ethical reputation, which can in turn attract more diverse candidates. This then improves overall business activities and tends to attract even more diverse, top-level talent. As HR professionals, itís vital to show that culture is at the heart, not just the surface of a business.
2. Culture Demonstrates Appreciation
Strong company culture helps to show that your business places value on those who contribute to its success. It does more than acknowledge that employees are important to operations. it recognizes that their health, home life, and happiness are as important as their productivity.
So how does this make a difference to the type of talent you can attract? Youíll be gaining the attention of workers who can see that their contributions will be recognized as making a genuine impact on the business. According to a recent report, 86% of employees at businesses with strong cultures felt that leadership listened to them. This tends to draw talent that wants to give their all in being creative and innovative.
Some methods for showing how your business encourages a culture centered on valuing its employees can include:
- Employee Showcasing. Feature employees in content posts - blogs, vlogs, podcasts - that showcase their expertise. This might seem like an invitation to have your best and brightest headhunted, and thereís no harm in acknowledging that your incredible employees may well be attractive to other companies. Youíre showing that you believe in their abilities and recognize how valuable they truly are.
- Keep All Employees Safe. HR professionals can also help to demonstrate value by outlining how your operations exhibit care for day-to-day employee safety and security. This has to go across the board, not just those employees who are full time or in-house. Produce clear policies that help to support remote workers during emergencies or abnormal situations, policies that support them as similarly as they would in-office workers.
- Feature Checks and Balances. Valuing employees must include seeking their input and addressing their concerns. Highlight how employee feedback is a central aspect of your company culture, and encourage them to also post reviews and issues on platforms such as Glassdoor that will be seen by candidates.
3. Culture Encourages Longevity
Company culture takes time to implement well. When candidates see that there is an established, fully considered, consistent culture this also demonstrates that there is a commitment to the long term. A business that builds its operations around its values isnít likely to be one that is out to make a quick buck - itís willing to invest in its operations, environment, and employees. It doesnít just offer jobs but careers.
This can have a positive effect on company turnover. Millennials are generally known as the generation most willing to job-hop. One poll showed that 21% of Millennials stated that theyíd changed jobs in the previous year, demonstrating less willingness to stay in their current roles. Featuring a strong company culture that shows commitment to keeping employees secure in their positions. Creating an overall sense of purpose can be a great motivator of talent in general; in fact, it tends to be one of the evergreen strategies in keeping employees engaged. However, this can be enhanced by showing you also have a long term commitment to improving their life too.
So what can HR professionals do to draw attention to your businessesí commitments to long-term excellence? One of the key steps is creating a clear guide to career progression. Show how employees are rewarded not just with raises but opportunities to grow with the company with merit-based promotions. Highlight the additional education resources you provide. Draw attention to how workers from diverse backgrounds frequently move into leadership roles and spearhead projects.
Any HR pro worth their salt knows that discovering the right talent takes more than offering the right salary. By placing a focus on strong company culture, potential employees get a glimpse into how company priorities can mesh with their own, and how the business places value on their needs and contributions. It also provides important incentives to stick with the company in the long term, providing opportunities for growth and innovation that benefits everyone involved.
Jori Hamilton is a freelance writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of subjects but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity, recruitment, HR, and marketing strategies. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.