The race is on to recruit the very best talent. But some companies seem to be better at it than others. Plenty of employers would argue that it all comes down to the financial rewards on offer. However, salary and benefits are just one part of what makes a company more attractive than others. The appeal of any business also has a lot to do with its mission, vision and values (collectively known as its company culture).
A business that spends time and energy nurturing its company culture will transform into an instantly more appealing workplace for candidates who can afford to be selective. And that’s not all, that company will also reap the benefits of retaining the talent they attract, experience greater staff morale, enjoy increased productivity, and maintain a distinct competitive advantage.
Why is company culture so important?
Company culture is the backbone of a great business. It is one of the most important ‘hidden’ assets a business can possess and it is the one thing that truly differentiates one company from another. In other words, it’s a company’s personality.
There is currently a wave of millennials surging through the business world, all of whom place great value on a company’s personality. This generation has grown up in a society fuelled by innovation and technological advancement and they see a career as more than a job for life. Millennials place a great deal of importance on a company’s values, community and environment, and use these factors as a foundation for their job search.
Which company cultures attract top talent?
Big names in tech such as Google and Facebook are renowned for attracting the crème de la crème of talent. Not only do they have plenty of money to throw at securing the best of the best, but they also have notoriously attractive company cultures that help seal the recruitment deal.
These Silicon Valley giants have embarked on a battle to create the best workplace in the world. So what do they offer that other companies don’t? Anyone fancy free food, fitness classes, or an open-door policy for dogs? These are just some of the oft-quoted perks of being a Google employee (aka Googler).
Other companies focusing on culture include Zappos (which dedicates a portion of its budget to team building and culture) and Twitter (free meals, yoga classes and unlimited holidays). This commitment to in-house culture pays off, with all these companies drawing in top talent and recognition for being great places to work.
Boost your company culture today
So, how do you make your own company culture a must-have instead of a nice-to-have? Here are four ways to ensure your company culture is as enticing as it can be:
1. Be flexible
Plenty of research points to the fact that the majority of today’s employees would prefer greater flexibility over a pay rise or promotion. Allowing employees to work flexible hours at locations that suit them means they become more productive and inspired. In the world of tech, for example, it is common for developers to have their best ideas outside the hours of 9 to 5.
2. Nurture and grow
Professional development is another factor that many candidates are looking for in a future employer. The top talent isn’t going to be happy sitting in the same role forever more. They will be looking for progression opportunities within a company before saying yes to a job offer. Think about potential advancement with every job description created. From training courses and initiatives to mentoring programmes and passion projects, make sure your company encourages aspiration.
3. Show you care
A company’s reputation can spell boom or bust for that business. Employees care more about a brand if they see it is backed by a robust culture of giving, volunteering and sustainability. You need to ensure that everything your company does aligns with the views and beliefs held by current employees and perfect candidates alike.
4. Stay hot on tech
Coming back to that rich talent pool of millennials, competitive candidates expect to be armed with the latest gadgets and technology so they can work more efficiently. Devices such as tablets, laptops and smartphones, or apps and other software tools needn’t break the bank and are sure to keep even the most discerning digital native appeased. A BYOD policy means Gen Y don’t have to conform to your technology, they can use your tech on their own devices. Taking a tech-first approach will also help you secure the top tech talent.
When designing and building your company culture, always do so with input and feedback from employees across the entire business. Make sure your next top candidate doesn’t become the one that got away. A new recruit who believes in your company and its mission is precisely the type of tech talent you want to attract.
Read our related blog: Flexible working - Pros and cons