The Importance Of Culture In Candidate Attraction

5 minutes

Your company’s culture is a huge part of your employer brand and can make or break it. It’s one of the many aspects that can attract, engage and secure top talent.

It’s no wonder then that a growing number of candidates ask about culture during the interview stage, seeking transparency, flexibility and authenticity.

The Shift

With money now being less of a driver, especially for graduates, the focus has shifted to a sense of belonging, purpose and development within the workplace. Job descriptions can no longer just be a long list of what you expect from the candidate but must also give them an insight into what you can do for them.

With an average of only 20% of candidates actively seeking new roles, building your brand’s magnetism is more important than ever in the battle for talent. Creating a culture based on your values leads to buy in from like-minded people and higher retention rates.

With people spending more time at work than with their families, the ultimate goal for candidates is to find an environment that they can thrive in rather than just survive in.

Getting It Right

Culture is the backbone of your company but there is no cheat sheet for quick success. Culture has to be built on purpose. It’s not just about providing a pool table; some drinks and flicking the fun switch on. Your culture needs to be ingrained in everything you do from the top down. Your leader’s actions and decisions reinforce the culture of the company on a daily basis. It also affects how people interact with each other internally and how they treat your customers.

Ask yourself what your company stands for. What do you expect from your employees and what motivates them to come to work every day? Building a people centric culture will ultimately lead to business performance and productivity but you need to take care of your people first.

During the interview process it’s a good idea for your candidates to meet with multiple people in the organisation to help paint a better picture of your culture for the candidate, as well as making sure the candidate is a right fit for you.

And remember, candidates will have a pretty good understanding of what you’re about before even meeting you, through their own research from news articles, word of mouth and social media.

What About Millennials?

According to Forbes, 90% of Millennials stated that culture is important to them and that it makes them more invested in a company. With 51% of Millennials open to the possibility of another job, culture has the power to attract and retain these future leaders. 

With this generation, it’s all about authenticity and they’re likely to spot if you’re pretending to be something you’re not. Being transparent is the way forward. In addition to the benefits you offer, highlight your development programmes and how you give your employees the opportunity to grow and hone their skills.

Show people the reality of your business with behind the scenes content that lets them have a unique insight into what it’s really like working for you. According to recent figures from The Global Recruiter, employee stories are 20% more immersive than careers sites, bringing more employees into the recruitment process. 95% of participants said the content was highly relevant and 77% said their impression of the company improved with 98% of participants saying they would apply for the job.

Differentiating Yourself

When your ideal candidate is torn between your offer, as well as another company’s offer, what you stand for can really make a difference. If both offer packages are similar, a common situation for quality candidates, the distinguishing factor is what you’re all about, and how well it is being represented and communicated to your candidate could be the deciding factor. This is even more important if your salary package is not market competitive. 

Your culture could be the deciding factor why quality candidates might reject the higher salary package over yours. It’s all about identifying if the company will suit the candidates´ working styles, behaviours and values. That is one of the reasons, why many candidates are choosing smaller FinTech start-ups over the security of large IT companies.

What’s in it For You?

Culture can have a huge impact on the level of connection an employee feels with the company so making sure candidates are a good fit from a cultural standpoint is also beneficial to your company.

Value-based recruiting is crucial to protecting your culture as you grow your business and hiring someone based on their skill set alone is bound to backfire, costing you twice that person’s salary to replace them when things don’t work out. 

Striking The Right Balance

Attracting top talent is a hefty time investment but leaders should spend just as much time building the culture that keeps them.

While your company’s culture plays a big part, candidates in the tech sector are also concerned about the type of work they’ll be doing, what niche knowledge they’ll be applying and exactly how they’ll be managed.

The best approach to finding the right talent is to consider softer skills as well as technical skills evaluating cultural fit, values, beliefs and outlook as well as potential and technical skill.