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Communicating your culture: Showcasing your company during recruitment

Every company should have its own culture, from happy go lucky to the more serious and formal. What kind of working environment a business possesses is becoming a more and more important consideration not just for potential employees, but for the business themselves. 

In 2017 a survey conducted by Deloitte found that 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success, driving home how essential it is to not only establish a strong culture in your workplace, but communicate that culture to potential employees.

Next in the series of our Let’s Talk Talent webinars, in partnership with Give A Grad A Go, Cary Curtis, CEO of Give A Grad A Go gets together with Peter Kelly, co-founder of Imployable and industry expert John Stapleton, who has previously built a wide range of successful businesses, including Little Dish. The dynamic trio elaborate on the importance of having a company culture and how to communicate that to potential employees during the recruitment process, all while ensuring they’re the right one for the job.

Showing off

With an increasing percentage of the workforce placing importance on company culture, how vital is it really to showcase the community you’ve built in your business, and how do you do that in the first place?

Cary starts off by categorising the typical job advert as “archaic”, for what will be many potential employee’s first impression of your business, Cary says “the best thing to do is to have an as engaging piece of content as you possibly can.” The typical template for a job description has long been the bane of many employees and been the first of many difficulties when it comes to keeping applicants interested and getting the message across that their company is more than a simple taskmaster within such a restrictive template.

While pointing out the initial hurdle, Cary claims that “video content is winning.” The more engaging medium certainly seems to be piquing the interest of potential applicants much more than the walls of text they’re otherwise faced with in a typical job hunt, “it’s a great way to get culture, people and be something a bit different and stand out,” Cary explains.

Building up

Aspiring for a certain culture within your business is one thing, but building that culture is another. It’s quite the undertaking to get the culture you want right and of course if you’re advertising to potential applicants, what do you tell them if you’re only just starting out? A fresh slate might be more beneficial than you think when it comes to constructing a company culture.

“You need to do this, or you’re going to get left behind.” – John Stapleton

John has some keen insight into this after years in business himself: “you need to build your culture around the team you don’t yet have,” he says, “if you’re a start-up, you’re in a great place because you can build that team purposefully as opposed to inheriting.”

“It’s critical to get this right,” continues John, highlighting how imperative it is to clarify your company culture these days. Despite the increased focus on company culture being relatively recent, the merits of establishing a culture and community in your business are frequently understated by businesses and corporate culture while increasing in importance for the average employee and applicant.

In such a competitive graduate recruitment market, it’s important to ensure new graduate hires have the right incentives not only to join the company but also to stay in their roles. That’s why Give A Grad A Go asked over 300 graduates which work perks appeal to them most, with 23.6% of respondents choosing lunchtime exercise classes or gym memberships, 19.4% choosing flexible working options and 10.4% wanted regular after-work socials. 

For more recruitment and hiring insights, download Give A Grad A Go’s 2021 Graduate Employment Statistics for free today.

Standing out

With the boom in focus on culture and the divide between the corporate and the small business mentality towards things such as job applications, what can you do to stand out? The drab professionalism that many experience when scrolling through endless job listings with a variety of three-letter acronyms and boring business terminology is a mould just waiting to be broken for those willing to take the leap.

Peter, experienced in the field of recruitment shares some of his own experiences managing Imployable and the businesses that use it: “we noticed quite early on that culture and fit would be a really important factor,” he says, continuing on to call a variety of job boards “uninspiring” and highlighting that is was a problem he and Imployable set out to fix.

“When our employers post their jobs onto Imployable, each post can have media,” says Peter, touching on the earlier point that video is a rising star in the world of recruitment to break away your description from those otherwise mind-numbing lists of listings.

Big businesses have no need to feel intimidated by the perceived lack of constraints seen amongst smaller businesses when it comes to their recruitment strategies, however. “It works all the way from start-ups to big businesses,” says Peter, ensuring that a little can go a long way even for a larger business that decides to up the ante and separate itself from the crowd by employing a media-based recruitment strategy.

Getting across

It’s been established that it’s important for company culture to be put across, but when should that be done? What opportunities do companies have to establish their culture to their potential employees and when should they do that?

“There are so many opportunities for companies to have meaningful, original engaging content out there and then you can direct people through to your job ads,” says Cary, making it clear that from the very start a company should be trying to get across their culture to anyone and everyone.

Finalising the question, Cary explains that the bar for entry is quite low to communicate your message, Cary makes sure to let the panel know that the videos don’t have to be well-rehearsed or particularly high production value: “they can just be a day in the life of, you can just get your employees inputting into it and of course utilise your social channels.”

“We had never used TikTok before, but we made a video and it got a million views.” – Cary Curtis

Communicating your culture is an important part of the process but difficult alongside the conventional constraints of the corporate culture we know all too well.

Breaking down the barriers between the strategies of small and big business and establishing your brand through a variety of new and otherwise unconventional mediums, such as TikTok or video pieces putting across your brand message can free you from the binding chains of the typical job listing and attract those you want and need in your business. 

If you want to see Give A Grad A Go’s barrier-breaking brand communication of company culture for yourself, and a couple of their very viral videos, you can check out their TikTok here.