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How Your Company’s Corporate Culture Can Help or Hurt Your Recruiting Efforts

There’s a reason companies like Google, Facebook, Pixar, REI, and Clif Bar attract talented, loyal employees: corporate culture.

Google values employees’ ideas as a driver in the company’s development. Facebook allows staff to float from team to team. Pixar’s building has a central atrium to encourage collaboration between employees. REI takes workers on team-building hikes, and Clif Bar gives employees an annual stipend to cover the cost of race entries.

The brightest minds want to work for these companies for more than their perks and incentives, though. Well-qualified candidates aren’t just looking for great jobs — they’re looking for great organizations where they are valued and can grow personally and professionally. Here are our top do’s and don’ts HR professionals should consider before implementing their own recruiting efforts.

The Five Do’s

No. 1: Define your corporate culture

An effective definition of your corporate culture can be turned into a powerful mission statement. Define your company’s values, work styles, visionary purpose, team attitude, and common practices — and be prepared to share. If the company is easy for you to talk about, candidates will be impressed.

No. 2: Advertise your corporate culture

Companies with a great corporate culture show it off. Doing so will engage interested candidates who will blossom in your company atmosphere and discourage others who know they wouldn’t thrive in your office.

No. 3: Share your high retention rate

Are you the kind of organization current employees love and potential employees want? High turnover indicates a negative job environment. A Columbia University study found that companies with poor culture have a turnover rate as high as 48.8 percent.

No. 4: Promote professional development

Your company wants employees to grow in their skills, so share how you are encouraging professional development. Let prospective employees know if you sponsor membership to professional organizations, host on-site training, offer continuing education or certification reimbursements, or send employees to industry conferences. Encouraging managers to develop their leadership abilities can help motivate and inspire employees.

No. 5: Encourage innovation

Successful companies are proud of their heritage but open to change. Supportive management is willing to improve, accept change, foster innovation, and encourage creativity.

The Five Don’ts

No. 1: Brag about shallow perks

So you have a foosball table in the corner of the break room? Big deal. Trendy perks don’t necessarily translate into a good work environment. Job candidates can see right through those smoke-and-mirror tactics.

No. 2: Fear the boss

Company culture starts from the top, so a domineering leadership is bad news to job seekers. Does management make all decisions behind closed doors? Is the boss nervous about others outshining him? Are employees scared of the boss? These are all major red flags.

No. 3: Ignore the team element

Employees want to work together to help the broader organization. Recruiting efforts should market the company as collaborative, not cutthroat.

No. 4: Mention “Lots of good people have left”

Are you hiring out of necessity because too many employees are jumping ship? Your best and brightest are going to continue to bail if the company’s values don’t align with theirs. Potential employees want to see a line of candidates hoping to land a job at your company — not a stream of people leaving.

No. 5: Neglect to promote from within

Job seekers want to work for an organization with opportunities for promotion — not a company that tries to poach top talent from competitors. Don’t ignore your in-house talent when looking to fill new positions.
Let your culture define you. If your company culture is holding back your recruiting efforts, follow these simple tips for improvement.

About the Author: Alice Williams has an MA in Communication Studies from San Francisco State University, where she studied organizational communication and HR extensively. She is a contributor to BusinessBee and likes to go hiking with her husband in her spare time.