This Is What Interests Job Candidates “Above All Else”

4835354126_834e350d9e_bEmployers on the hunt for new talent, take note …

More than two-thirds of the 26,000+ professionals who participated in LinkedIn’s 2016 Global Talent Trends report said they want to know about a company’s culture and values “above all else” when considering a job.

Not salary. Not benefits. Not perks. They want to know about your culture and values. Yet, sadly, these are the very qualities that often remain a mystery when candidates are scoping out potential employers. “They may know about your company, but they lack a clear picture of what it’s like on the inside—and the typical job description isn’t helping,” the LinkedIn report indicates.

So what can employers do to better illuminate their company cultures?

“Position their cultures front and center, and use current employees—their best ambassadors—to help,” advise the report’s authors. “Involve them in your brand initiatives and encourage them to create their own content that candidly shows what they think about your work culture.”

Cultural Transparency: A Clear Win-Win
While social media and websites such as Glassdoor have made it easier for today’s job seekers to learn about workplace cultures, using these tools feels like detective work to many candidates. They’re forced to dig up clues about life inside a company through these indirect sources. Imagine how much better the candidate experience would be if employers made cultural information more available and transparent.

Greater transparency would speak volumes about an employer’s commitment to hiring and retaining the right talent (individuals who truly fit a company’s culture and possess the skills and temperament to thrive there). Also greater transparency would enable candidates to self-select companies and jobs more effectively, which would streamline talent engagement and acquisition processes and reduce the demand on recruiters to weed out incompatible candidates.

The fact is cultural transparency is on the rise among progressive employer brands. As Wade Burgess, LinkedIn’s VP of Talent Solutions, explores in his recent Fast Company article, brands such as Netflix, Starbucks and Gilead Sciences are doing much more than simply touting their cutting-edge perks and benefits; they’re showcasing actual business practices and employee initiatives that exemplify their culture and mission.

At Dell, for example, global talent manager Jennifer Newbill asked employees to express how they experience the company’s entrepreneurial spirit. Her request blossomed into a popular SlideShare presentation featuring real employees that has earned nearly a quarter-of-a-million views.

If you’re into numbers, here’s another showing just how crucial company culture is: 66% of HR managers who responded to a 2015 OfficeTeam survey cited poor cultural fit as the top reason people left their companies.

The LinkedIn and OfficeTeam surveys are vivid indicators that culture matters to candidates and employees alike—and it matters lot. It’s a huge factor in attracting new talent to our organizations, and it’s a key reason people are walking out the door.


Photo credit: First daytime company meeting! via photopin (license)

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