How do you make your business a magnet for talent? In today’s competitive recruitment environment, the ability to attract top talent and retain staff is a puzzle all business leaders want to solve. An increasing number of businesses are wising up to the fact that company culture is the answer. It’s arguably the biggest marketing tool for enticing candidates to join your business. It also happens to be fundamental to business success.
When it comes to attracting talent, salaries are no longer enough to win over the strongest candidates. Research by LinkedIn found that 70 percent of professional workers would not work at a leading company if they had to tolerate a poor workplace culture.
A global survey of 11,000 business and HR leaders by Deloitte revealed a profound shift in the mindset of organizations. The report highlights the power of the individual and the evolving role of business in wider society. Talented individuals are increasingly looking for businesses addressing diversity issues, gender pay equality, and income equality. Forward-thinking organizations are developing new career models and addressing concerns such as longevity and well-being.
A strong and effective company culture makes an organization stand out from the crowd. It is also proving to be the biggest draw for talent.
So what is company culture and why is it so important?
What is company culture?
Company culture can be described as an ecosystem. It consists of a complex network of living organisms (humans) and non-living components (technology, systems, location, premises etc.), and requires careful balancing to operate at its optimum. Business culture isn’t something that gets set up and is done. It requires constant nurture.
Business culture is essentially based on the values and beliefs of the company’s founders. It covers everything from accepted behaviors to the daily interactions between management and staff, as well as the environment in which they work.
In terms of attracting talent, the cultural aspects of a company are increasingly important. Millennials in particular care about who they work for. As millennials are fast becoming the largest age group in the workforce, employers need to wise up. Trends in the workplace indicate that millennials value culture over other incentives.
4 Facts about business culture that are essential for attracting top talent
- Have a compelling business strategy
There can be no drive to recruit the best talent without a compelling business strategy. Why else would great people want to join you? You need to know what makes your company stand out from the crowd and sell that to prospective candidates.
Think about why a talented individual would choose you over one of your competitors. It is often because of an innovative and exciting or robust business strategy that a potential candidate will be interested in you. Aligning culture with business strategy has been shown to attract talent, as well as increase growth and profit.
- Have clear core values
Having clearly defined core values and living by those values is essential to good business culture. People want to be inspired by the companies they work for. Strong values make it easier for businesses to select the right candidates and it helps candidates to align themselves with a business they want to work for.
The Deloitte report highlights how organizations are addressing societal concerns and offering a wider range of programmes to staff for physical, mental, financial and spiritual health. These are having a positive bearing on core identity and strategy.
- Offer a programme of continuous learning and development
Learning and development (L&D) plays a crucial role in the process of recruitment. Candidates are increasingly looking at career development and learning opportunities in business. A poll by Gallup found that 59 percent of millennials want jobs to be development opportunities.
Learning and development are crucial for planning and managing talent. It allows businesses to promote from within and effectively target recruitment to manage a talent pipeline.
- Existing employees are brand ambassadors
The forum for employees to rate and review employers is growing. LinkedIn, Glassdoor and other recruitment sites, such as Indeed, are providing insightful information about a company’s culture to prospective employees. In the digital age, businesses with poor culture are being exposed.
Your existing employees are your brand ambassadors. They have access to extensive online networks through social media. They can publicize your brand and improve your visibility to prospective candidates. Just as people are more likely to buy from a business that has been recommended by a friend, they are more likely to be interested in working for employers that have been recommended too.
Businesses can no longer ignore culture in their recruitment strategies, especially if they want to attract and retain the best talent. Attracting talent is a challenge. A survey by PWC found that 63 percent of CEOs are increasingly worried about finding talent with the right skills. The recruiting game has changed, and power now resides with the candidates. As a result, culture and culture-fit talent are the key to success.
About the author: Mike James is an experienced business writer specializing in HR, tech, and cybersecurity. On the latter, he has contributed to many of the leading publications both online and in print – such as StaySafeOnline, GlobalSign, Tech London and more.