While an organization’s culture is only one component of its employer brand, it’s one of the main reasons why job candidates decide to join—and remain with—a company. A good cultural fit results when a candidate’s beliefs and behaviors align with the organization’s values and culture. When aligned, the candidate will be more likely to become an engaged, committed, and productive employee. The most successful organizations use their employer branding to differentiate themselves—and their corporate culture— from their competitors.
The definition of corporate culture
At its most basic, corporate culture can be described as the personality of an organization. A company’s culture consists of shared beliefs and values that have been established by leadership and communicated and reinforced throughout the organization. According to SHRM, “when an organization has a strong culture, three things happen—employees know how top management wants them to respond to any situation, employees believe that the expected response is the proper one, and employees know that they will be rewarded for demonstrating the organization’s values.”
The role of corporate culture in attracting and retaining talent
The employer-employee dynamic has changed drastically in recent years. Job applicants are looking for more than just a paycheck—they want to feel engaged, valued, and have a work-life balance. An organization’s culture plays a strong role in determining if these wants will be achieved. It’s in the best interest of the job candidate and the employer to ensure there’s a good cultural fit.
What an organization stands for is a big deciding factor in where people choose to work. Purpose is valued over profit by millennials—the largest segment of the workforce. They are looking for a deeper sense of connection to the workplace and are socially and community aware and motivated. Research from LinkedIn found that 86 percent of millennials would take a pay cut to work at a company that holds the same values as their own. Millennials expect their employer to maintain a diverse and inclusive work environment where employee differences are emphasized to bring value to the organization.
A strong corporate culture positively impacts the organization’s brand—which helps to attract talent. Employees who have a strong connection to an organization are much more engaged and productive and less likely to leave—which helps to retain talent.
Using employer branding to communicate your corporate culture
Before accepting a job offer, 80 percent of job seekers want to understand the company’s culture. However, It could take the candidate several months—of being in the position—to truly understand the organization’s culture and values. That’s why it’s important that you accurately represent your culture in your employer branding and provide the job applicant with as much information as possible to determine if a cultural fit exists before accepting the position.
An employer brand is a company’s reputation as a workplace that’s shaped by what its employees value most about the organization. Below are a few examples of what job seekers are looking for in a potential employer so you can be sure to provide them in job postings, on your website, and across your social media platforms.
- Awards: Job seekers want to know that your company is stable and has a positive reputation. Showcasing awards your organization has won is a great way to demonstrate both of these attributes. For example, “Best Places to Work” or “ClearlyRated” industry awards prove that your organization is a great employer.
- Corporate values: Be sure to communicate your company culture by highlighting details of what makes your organization unique and sharing your corporate values. This will help job applicants determine if they’ll be a good fit.
- Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB): Explain your stance on diversity and inclusion and highlight any corporate DEIB initiatives.
- Sustainability: Call attention to any corporate sustainability initiatives related to the environment, health, poverty, and education.
- Community involvement: Take a look at what community service and volunteer programs your company has in place. 70 percent of millennials—the largest segment of the workforce—regularly volunteer. According to an article in Fast Company, 64 percent of millennials said that they wouldn’t take a job at a company that wasn’t socially responsible. Many signs in the recruitment industry indicate that this socially motivated mindset is here to stay.
- Flexible benefits and work environment: Does your organization offer hybrid work options and/or a 10 hour/4-day work week? 86 percent of employees say they want to work for a company that prioritizes outcomes over output.
- Opportunities for growth and development: Employees want to know they bring value to the work they do. They seek continuous skill development and meaningful growth opportunities. What is your organization doing to promote professional development?
A company’s culture helps mold its employer brand but its employer branding is what truly differentiates the organization and its culture from its competitors. When culture and brand are aligned, an organization can successfully attract and retain the right talent.
This blog was authored TalentRise’s Senior Vice President of Executive Search and Talent Consulting Carl Kutsmode.