A lot of companies don’t think about their company culture, it’s just created out of the people they hire. So by reading this article, you’re taking your first step to defining and creating a culture that you can use in your hiring process to attract the employees you want at your business.
We’re going to discuss exactly what company culture is, why it’s important for your business, and how you can use it to support your business, win new clients and attract employees moving forward.
What is Company Culture?
A company culture is a shared set of values, attitudes and principles that summarise your business. These are often based on the founding principles of the business, and can affect every business decision the company makes.
The reality of an abstract idea like “company culture” can be different to different people within your business. For a junior executive at an agency, a collaborative culture could mean being able to go to their manager or colleagues for help or support on a project. But to a CEO, it could mean the different departments involved in a clients project working together cohesively.
“The company culture is the DNA of the business. When we founded Dynamic, we tried and tested culture in so many different ways. First we hired a mix of sales people, coming from a sales background. Then we hired people with the right personality. People who maybe didn’t have the experience, but had the attitude, the drive and willingness to learn.
This first blend didn’t work initially because we ourselves didn’t know what our identity was. But trial and error got us closer and closer to where we are now. There are still improvements to make, there always are.”
Examples of Company Culture
But a company culture does more than just influence your recruitment efforts. It can have a huge impact on every aspect of your business.
How Company Culture Can Affect Big Decisions
Outdoor clothing company Patagonia has described itself as an “activist company”. It regularly demonstrates this by donating profits to environmental groups and sources production materials from sustainable and responsible sources.
In recent news, founder Yvon Chouinard gave the company away, and all future profits will be donated to charity. And while this is a more extreme example, it shows how company culture affects business decisions at the highest levels.
How Company Culture Affects Small, Everyday Decisions
Here at Dynamic, our Recruitment Consultants work collaboratively. Senior recruiters work closely with junior recruiters to support their professional development. Our culture even influenced the physical layout of our office, with an open office plan and breakout rooms for recruitment teams to collaborate in and host impromptu training sessions.
And as a recruitment agency we are an output focussed business. Our team is measured on their tasks completed, not on the time spent behind their desks. We work in a hybrid working environment, because we trust our Recruitment Consultants to get their work done regardless of location.
Some business will look to hire hire people who can work independently. Some want others who work better as part of a team. It can be down to the needs of the position, or how the business works.
How Company Culture Can Impact Your Office
Company culture can even be reflected in the physical layout of your office: If you’re a business that prides itself on collaboration and flexibility, closed office cubicles where your team can’t see each other probably aren’t going to support the culture you’re trying to create.
Let’s go with an example that everyone will know, Google. Google’s list of office perks are notorious, and include, but aren’t limited to: dry cleaning, massages, health and dental check-ups, gyms and swimming pools, hairdressers and game rooms. All on site.
Google offers this long list of perks for a simple reason. Recruitment is expensive. Especially in an environment as competitive as Google’s industry. It’s more cost efficient for them to offer a long list of perks that keeps their employees around, than spending money on recruitment to replace people.
Why Is Company Culture Important?
According to a Columbia University study, 92% of senior executives surveyed said that company culture is one of the top three drivers of the value of their businesses. That’s an astonishingly high number of top level decision makers that consider their carefully curated company culture as one of their most valuable assets.
This is because having an established and defined company culture can have a huge impact on your recruitment and staff retention efforts.
Giving candidates an accurate idea of your company values helps you attract applicants who want to work with you. If you’re a Managed Service Provider that has regular company socials and company trips away to promote a vibrant social culture, then talking about that on social media is a great way to attract employees who will be looking for this kind of company culture.
Knowing and displaying your company culture will stop you from hiring the wrong people: People who won’t be happy in the way your business operates, and who will cost you time and money to find their replacement when they leave. Because the likelihood of employee turnover at a business with a strong company culture is 13.9% according to another study by Columbia University. Meanwhile, the likelihood of employee turnover of a company with weak company culture is 48.4%.
Your company culture is a fundamental constant in your business. But it can and will change over time. Changes in your industry and even in society may have an impact on your company culture. But if the culture is changing without your conscious decision making, then you may need to revise your hiring process to make sure that new hires are a cultural fit for your company and uphold the company values.
How To Build a Strong Company Culture That Attracts Candidates
Creating a strong company culture is a multi-stage process, but given its necessity, it’s well worth the time and effort it involves.
Identify & Define Your Company Culture
First step is to identify what company culture you want, and what are the elements that will be key in your culture.
If you want a financially motivated business where your team go above and beyond the competition, then you need to create a financially rewarding commission structure that incentivises that extra effort.
If you want a friendly and happy team, then you can use employee satisfaction surveys to understand what the team wants and their pain points. This gives you areas to improve employee satisfaction.
“Something we ask all our clients is “What’s the culture in your team?” If we can provide our clients with advice on what kind of person would fit in their business culturally and why they would fit into the business, we can take away that risk element for our clients.”
Adam Law, Dynamic Co-Founder
Implement Your Vision
Now that you have identified what kind of culture you want for your business, take some time with senior leadership to decide how you’re going to create it. What are the actions you will take? What are the habits of your business, and will they align with your company culture? Because you need to use this understanding of the company culture to make effective hiring decisions moving forward.
A trap people fall into is making hiring decisions that go against their company culture: Whether it’s out of necessity, or whether they’re a hiring manager who isn’t fully informed on the company culture. If you’ve got one and you believe in it, then you need to hire for it and you can’t deviate from it.
How To Use Your Company Culture To Attract Candidates On Social Media
Having a great company culture will help your recruitment efforts organically through word-of-mouth, reviews of your business and employee referrals. But your company’s social media accounts are a great way to attract potential employees. Because in the same way that you look at a job applicant’s social media, they’ll be looking at yours.
Take Pictures of Your Team Events and Share Them!
If some of your team takes a day out of the office to support a local charity, then taking pictures of the team on the day of the event is a great way to attract candidates who align with your company culture.
Giving a behind-the-scenes view of your business is a great way to give potential employees insight into your business culture, and show your pride in the work of your team.
Interview Your Team
Doing “get to know you” interviews with your team is a great way to give people considering applying to your company a way to “meet” your team before they join. This helps attract candidates who will be a better cultural fit for your team, ease fears about joining a team of strangers, and hopefully your team will talk about what a wonderful place to work your company is.
Post About Your Team’s Milestones
Promotions. Company milestones. New hires. All of these are great ways to celebrate your team’s achievements, while showing off the success of your team. New hires show your business is growing, while promotions and milestones show that your team is staying for the long haul!
Has your business expanded to a new office? Made big client wins? Or hit company milestones that you’re celebrating? These are just examples of company events that you should be sharing; to celebrate what it means for the company as well as celebrating the team that caused this success.
After all, everyone wants to join a successful business that celebrates the work of it’s team.