What’s in a Culture?

2019 has been an interesting year to be in recruitment, albeit a time fraught with uncertainty and a level of anxiety about the future of job security/new opportunities.

I say interesting, as amongst the chaos, we’ve seen key issues come to the fore, – the gender pay gap, combating unconscious bias, and many brands stepping-up accountability on diversity and inclusion. It’s great to these topics finally taking centre stage and companies making strides to create healthier, more inclusive workplaces.

Whilst not a new discussion, companies hiring for “culture fit” and candidates accepting/turning down roles based on company culture has become a major topic and it’s only too clear why.

Despite the climate of uncertainty, trends such as encouraging better work-life balance, promoting positive mental health and offering more flexibility around family and childcare needs have significantly surged in 2019.

Defining “company culture” or “culture fit” is becoming ever more complex. Gone are the days when it was enough for companies to boast having a Friday beer fridge or ping-pong table and don’t get me started on the “work-hard/play-hard” cliché!

Companies must embrace the fact that employees have different life goals and priorities and need to appeal to candidates from all walks of life in order to access the best and most diverse range of talent. This doesn’t mean bringing together a disparate group of individuals who will ultimately clash – far from it, it means recognising the values that underpin a culture, and how to attract people who share these values.

It’s vital for companies and teams to check-in and re-visit these values. I’m fortunate enough to work for a company that lists “be kind” and “be proud” amongst their top values – and they really do ring true in who we are as individuals and as a team – different and quirky as we all are!

Companies I’ve recently visited have also given me some fantastic insight into how they are building a supportive and diverse work culture. One in particular was running a “returners” career event in their HQ whilst I enjoyed a coffee with the internal recruiter – a great example of a brand living their values of integrity and upholding ethical standards.

But how important is company culture for candidates when making their next career move? According to a recent LinkedIn survey on recruitment trends, 40% of candidates looking at job adverts said they wanted to read about company culture, with the most important factor driving decisions on accepting roles being flexible working! Definitely food for thought.

If you need help finding the right working culture for you, or would like advice on how you can attract people whose values fit your brand, get in touch!