How to best communicate your company culture 

Your recruitment partner must engage with candidates based on their first-hand experience.

Finding people who not only have the right skills and experience but who are also the right cultural fit with their new employer is the ideal situation that hiring managers strive to achieve when recruiting top talent in a very competitive market.

However, when it comes to the questions around what aspects of a company constitute the culture and how to effectively communicate it during the recruitment process, there is no definitive answer and that remains the challenge.

So, how do you effectively communicate your company’s culture to your recruitment partner that will allow them to successfully attract top talent within a very competitive market.

First, we have to take a look at what corporate culture is. According to Investopedia, it is the set of “beliefs and behaviours that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.”

This culture is then reflected in a combination of various aspects including dress code, the business hours, the way the office is set up, the benefits that the company offers, the hiring decisions, customer service and client treatment and many other aspects of the company’s operations – often, these things are not seen by the potential hire and the recruitment partner and they need to be discovered upfront in order to communicate and market the message effectively.

The trend is that most companies feel the only way to achieve the goals and objectives they have, is for everyone (all employees) to have the same or similar values to work together cohesively. As one HR generalist at a top company once told me: “Everyone is different, and everyone has different beliefs, but ethical beliefs (values) need to be the same if you want to achieve anything as a business. This is what you look out for in people during the interview process.”

In communicating company culture, companies need to firstly understand which aspects of their culture hold the most importance and value to professionals and how they can meet these needs to attract the top talent available. It is vital to communicate the working culture of your business throughout the recruitment process in order to find those who will thrive in your company and ultimately stay for the long-term.

Recruitment partners must visit your company

Once you establish what the main aspects are, communicate them to your Recruitment Partner by way of meeting with them in person. Discussing your culture over the phone or via email is not going to be meaningful enough.

Recruitment partners need to see your company from a first-person perspective and that means visiting your company’s offices and talking to people in their natural working environment. By that I mean, sitting with the hiring managers and understanding their existing team and employee dynamics, what sort of person they are looking for from a soft skills and personality basis and what expectations they have from them as a new part of the team. Ultimately, we need to interview your company.

With this process, your recruitment partner can ascertain various aspects of your culture in greater detail and be better equipped to answer the questions that candidates may have. For example, by asking how long hiring managers and top managers have been with the company, candidates can get an indication of the potential longevity of their stay and growth in your organisation. Similarly, candidates will be interested in major organisational accomplishments that highlight levels of team involvement and employee participation, how the company celebrated that and how staff were rewarded.

Candidates will also want to know how the company tackles its social responsibility and what it gives back to communities, which is a big part of people’s values and morals.

Coming to grips with your culture would also involve talking to some of the existing staff and finding out what they love about the company and what made them join and stay with the company. That way, your recruitment partner has a good understanding of the type of person they need to hunt for in the market who will fit in with the existing group, aligning core values and work ethics as well.

The reputation of your brand matters

Companies also need to consider taking advantage of the tools they have available to them to build their reputation and then communicate that effectively. These are generally in the form of websites, social media and other communication channels like publications, reviews etc.

Candidates make use of research to identify company cultures and that involves things like media articles about the company, social media like Instagram and Facebook, asking during interviews, talking to others and using online company review information. Given this, companies need to make sure that the way they are perceived in the market is favourable.

Companies must ensure that their online presence and information is putting them in a good light to attract top talent. They need to ensure that their online content is positive, it’s using up to date technology and it’s communicating the company’s success, it’s values, missions and achievements, highlighting the achievements of employees over the years. It is vital that you that employees have positive things to say about the company, which are in line with what the recruitment partner has told them.

Along with this, it is vitally important for a recruitment partner to understand the employment process and methods that the company utilises. If it is going to take 3 interviews and an assessment along with a panel review, and a trip to another province, then let them know. If the feedback from an interview sometimes takes more than a day, let them know. They need to be able to communicate this to the candidates. Along with the culture that they are showcasing, recruiters need to ensure that it also speaks to the expectations of professionalism.

Alongside the company culture, a recruiter needs to ensure that the candidate experience is in line with the image and message being given. The more your recruitment partner knows about your company, the greater the chances are of consistent and measurable success through the right placements that are a fit from a cultural perspective coupled with the skills and experience to drive businesses forward. With your company culture in sight, a recruitment partner will find the hidden gems that are in the talent market that will align to companies’ missions and values and avoid the potential risks and pitfalls in making the wrong hire.