How Your Company Culture Impacts Recruiting Efforts
The phrase “company culture” has been tossed around so frequently over the past several years that it may cause some reader’s eyes to glaze over. With so many experts advocating various approaches to building and sustaining a culture of employee engagement, of innovation, of transparency, or more, “culture” has lost some of its impact. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the way teams operate in the workplace has a substantial effect on both their productivity and longevity.
There’s one area in particular in which “culture” isn’t just a buzzword, it’s a make-or-break reality. When it comes to recruiting and retaining qualified new employees, the experience of current employees becomes a deciding factor. Companies that take a passive, disinterested approach to the culture in their workplace are suddenly at a serious disadvantage.
So, how does company culture impact recruiting efforts? And how can HR and recruiters leverage it to create inspiring outcomes?
Your Culture Matters
First, let’s avoid the trap of “company culture” as a vague buzzword and define our terms: it’s not about perks, incentives, open floor plans, or how many ping-pong tables are in the office. As Ben Slater writes for ERE Media, a great company culture is “a working environment that attracts top candidates and (gets employees) excited to come to work every morning.” This usually means a purpose-driven work environment in which employees feel supported and motivated by the impact of their daily work.
Creating this synergy of purpose is simpler than it seems. It starts with defining your vision and values, ideally through collaboration with existing employees. Creating a unity of purpose through shared values empowers employees to self-direct towards the larger, greater good that a company is working for. It also enables them to share their enthusiasm for their work with others in a compelling way.
Positive company culture is the difference between answering “Oh, I work in sales,” and “I get to help people solve their problems every day” when the subject of employment comes up. The first won’t inspire further discussion, the second will make others lean in and ask “how can I be a part of that?”. That’s the goal for HR and recruiters who want to create a thriving recruiting culture.
Culture as Recruiting Tool
As Recruiter.com points out in The Argument for Company Culture, “by fostering an environment that employees love and job seekers want, you’ll be able to recruit and retain the top performers your company needs to grow.” An environment that employees are proud of is one they will actively share with others, turning your current employees into an army of recruiters. Looking to enhance your applicant pool? Deputize your most passionate, committed employees.
Culture remains a vital part of the equation throughout the entire hiring process. In addition to salary and growth potential, company culture consistently ranks as a top priority for job seekers, especially millennials. In fact, many among the younger members of the work force would rather earn less at a company they love than more at a company they find “boring.” That’s the power of culture.
While it’s a key element of the recruiting process in any configuration, there’s one method in which company culture truly shines: the employee referral program. Not only do engaged employees feel motivated to spread the word about job openings at their company, they advocate for company culture by referring those who will be a good match.
Culture Matching Best Practices
Talent Guru Dr. John Sullivan writes for ERE Media that, “employees are effective recruiters and employer ‘brand ambassadors.’ (By) having all employees continually ‘talking up the firm’ during their search for referrals, it also spreads the firm’s image as an exciting place to work.” Existing employees are in a strong position to represent company culture because they understand the day-to-day work environment as it would apply to new employees. In addition, they have an incentive to refer applicants who fit or enhance existing company culture.
Creating a vibrant referral culture empowers employees to act as change agents, referring potential candidates who they know to be qualified, motivated, and able to make positive contributions in the workplace. This kickstarts a cycle of engaged employee referrals and continual cultural enhancement. For HR and recruiters, it’s a dream come true.
The bottom line is that your company culture is the foundation of your recruiting efforts because motivated, engaged employees are your biggest and most effective evangelists. When they feel proud of and excited by the work they do and the company they keep, they’ll shout it from the rooftops and attract equally passionate referral candidates to keep your recruiting pipeline strong.
JobShakers’ mobile employee referral program solution makes it easy for employees to share job openings with qualified, passionate applicants. To learn more about how you can enable a culture of referrals and enhance your hiring process, contact us today!