A company’s culture is something recruiters tend to highlight in employer branding efforts and job postings. An increasing number of professionals have job titles that even include the words “company culture,” which shows the overwhelming importance of culture in the human resources space. In talent acquisition, showing off a company’s culture can be a valuable tool. However, it’s important to understand what company culture really is – and what candidates really want in a company’s culture.
Recently, HR & recruiting technology reviewer Software Advice surveyed 886 U.S. adults to see how they defined company culture and what they felt was most important in it. Survey respondents were asked to describe their ideal company culture, and the most common response was casual or relaxed. Runners-up included family-oriented, fun and friendly. When respondents were asked to choose their ideal culture from the top five responses to the above question, most said they preferred an honest and transparent company. This was followed by casual and relaxed and family-oriented, respectively. Only 11 percent of respondents said they valued a fun office.
“If companies are seeking to attract candidates using their company culture as their primary recruiting hook, letting it be known that your company is home to an honest and transparent culture might just be the most effective way to build your employer brand,” Software Advice researcher Erin Osterhaus said.
How to Use this Research
This data suggests it pays to be specific in describing culture for employer branding and recruiting purposes. Simply saying a company has a great culture may not mean much to candidates – Software Advice’s research found people have very different ideas of what company culture means to begin with, let alone what company culture should mean in their ideal workplaces. On the other hand, going deeper into preferences showed people do value honesty and transparency at work.
It is likely to be more effective to specify what a company’s culture is like than just to say it is good. Therefore, branding material should tap into what culture means to the company, whether it’s honest, family-friendly, casual or something else entirely. This way, prospective candidates can determine whether that description sounds appealing to them. As Software Advice found, most people are interested in a transparent workplace, so positioning a company in this way is likely to be valuable for talent acquisition.
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