Let’s face it, accepting a role with a new company is pretty daunting. Was it the right decision? Will I hate it there? Will I have to sing pop songs at karaoke every Friday lunchtime to fit in? OK, maybe that last one is an exaggeration.
We care about more than just salary, working hours and policies when considering a new job. While those things are still important, they are the basic hygiene factors, rather than the full story. Understanding what it’s actually like to work for a company lies in its culture.
One study revealed that almost three in five people would decline a job offer if they didn’t feel aligned with the company’s culture.
So, as employers, how do we introduce our company culture to prospective employees and land the best talent? With over 34 years of talent acquisition experience between them, we posed the question to Reward Gateway’s Carla Sutherland, Senior Talent Acquisition Manager for the U.S., and Dawn Saxby-Willis, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner.
What is company culture?
Company culture is what characterises an organisation. “It’s about so much more than free coffee, a ping pong table, or a keg,” explained Carla.
It’s the people, it’s the mission… it’s when a company’s actions align with its values.
Dawn added that every employee is an owner and purveyor of culture. It comes from the ground up and should be embraced by leaders, rather than defined by them.
Why is it important to share company culture with prospective new hires?
Company culture is one of the most important considerations for candidates looking to join a new company. To get the best people on board, the recruitment process should be treated as a window into life at the company.
“Candidate experience is absolutely everything. You embed culture from the start,” said Dawn.
It’s like a date. You might be really attracted to the person, but what if they have a poor attitude? You perhaps aren’t compatible on the inside. And it’s exactly the same in business – you have to show potential employees what’s on the inside.
A strong company culture can be a huge draw for talent, but Carla emphasised the importance of being fully transparent. Being open and up-front with candidates allows them – and you – to assess if it’s a good fit.
3 ways to introduce company culture to potential new hires
You only get one chance to make a good first impression on candidates, so it’s key to think about how to introduce your company culture.
When presenting your company culture, mission and values to prospective employees, follow these three steps:
Step 1. Align everyone in the recruitment process with your culture.
Reflecting on her past life as an external agency director, Dawn shared that it’s important to have a truly consistent approach across all people involved in the recruitment process.
Organisations must align their recruiters and agency partners with their culture and brand to enable them to effectively communicate it to the candidates they’re working with. They need to understand what makes your company special, and why people want to work for you.
External recruitment partners are an extension of your company, so your values and views about the candidate journey should align. Partnering with an agency that has a habit of ghosting applicants will definitely not reflect well on your company!
Step 2. Embed company culture from the get-go.
It’s important to start sharing your company culture well ahead of the interview. “We embed our culture in job descriptions by sharing links to our blog page and careers page where we introduce our mission and core values,” Dawn explained.
Candidates need to be engaged with a company’s culture throughout the hiring process, and RG candidates are sent a wealth of information and resources ahead of the interview stage to show them what we’re all about.
“When we schedule a candidate for an interview, we send them our culture book, information about our benefits and another link to our values,” added Carla.
Step 3. Showcase your culture during the interview
An interview presents the perfect opportunity for an organisation to engage candidates with their company culture by showcasing their working style and values in action.
“Here at RG, our interviewers are trained to ask questions that are open and positive to allow the candidate to be their authentic self,” Dawn shared.
We love asking our interviewees about their favourite value, and why.
Both the style of the interview and the questions being asked are a reflection of the culture, so it’s key to think about that all-important alignment that we explored in Step 1.
So there you have it! We hope these steps have given you some inspiration to share your company culture with prospective employees.
Interested to know how Reward Gateway can improve your company culture? Schedule a chat with one of our expert engagement consultants to learn more.