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Company Culture – Beyond the Beanbags

18 Apr 2024

Jean O'Donovan

Company culture is crucial in any talent retention & attraction strategy but so many companies wrongly assume it's all about benefits.

In today's competitive Irish job market, attracting top talent is no easy feat. While a competitive salary and attractive benefits package are important, there's another factor that's increasingly influencing candidate decisions: company culture.

For recruiters and in-house talent acquisition specialists, no price can be put on the value of a great workplace culture. It’s easy to recruit the best talent when you can truthfully brag about your employee experience and engagement levels.  If your employees are your best ambassadors and biggest advocates and you can recruit through referrals, it’s immeasurably easier to attract and retain high performing human talent. But what is company culture and how can employers highlight it to those not yet working there?  

Culture as the Cornerstone of Employer Branding

Regardless of the size of your organisation, you need to think of your company's employer brand as its personality. It's what sets you apart from the competition and attracts candidates who resonate with your values and way of working. A strong company culture goes beyond the table tennis table and free lunches (although those perks are nice!). It's about the core values, work environment, and sense of belonging you offer your employees.

Culture is More Than Just Perks

Jobseekers today are looking for more than just a pay-check. They want to feel valued, engaged, and part of something bigger. That’s not just a generational choice either. In a workforce that’s becoming increasingly multi-generational and particularly in the post-Covid environment, people are looking for a more inclusive and appreciative culture in which to work. A positive company culture fosters collaboration, innovation, and professional growth. It creates a space where employees feel comfortable taking risks, sharing ideas, and reaching their full potential.

Why Culture Matters During Recruitment

Here's why prioritising company culture during recruitment can give employers a significant edge:

  • Attracts the Right Fit: By highlighting your culture in your job descriptions, social media presence, and employer branding efforts, you'll attract candidates who align with your values and work style. This leads to a happier, more engaged workforce with lower turnover rates.
  • Boosts Employee Retention: Employees who feel valued and supported are more likely to stay with the company for the long haul. A strong culture fosters a sense of loyalty and commitment, reducing recruitment costs and ensuring continuity of knowledge and expertise.
  • Improves Employer Branding: A positive company culture translates into positive word-of-mouth. Satisfied employees become brand ambassadors, attracting new talent through their networks and online reviews.

How to Showcase Your Company Culture

So, how do you effectively convey your company culture during recruitment? Here are a few tips:

  • Be Authentic: Don't just list generic buzzwords. Use real examples, stories, and employee testimonials to showcase what your culture is truly like. If you’re partnering with a recruitment, tell them everything about your company. At Brightwater, we’re lucky enough after 25 years in the business to have great relationships with our clients and understand their culture so we can convey that during the shortlisting and interviewing process.
  • Integrate Culture Throughout the Recruitment Process: From job descriptions to interview questions, weave your company culture into every interaction with potential hires. Give them a chance to experience your culture firsthand.
  • Utilise Social Media: Share glimpses of your company culture on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram. Showcase team events, employee recognition programs, and if your company is committed to any kind of community involvement, then highlight that.
  • Focus on Values: Clearly define your company's core values and how they translate into everyday work practices. This allows potential candidates to assess if their own values align with yours.

Investing in Culture is an Investment in Success

By prioritising company culture during recruitment, you're not just filling positions – you're building a strong foundation for long-term success. A positive culture attracts the best talent, fosters employee engagement, and ultimately drives better business outcomes. In today's competitive Irish recruitment landscape, a strong company culture is no longer a nice-to-have, it's a must-have. So, go beyond the beanbags and free lunches, and showcase what truly makes your company a great place to work.

Jean O'Donovan is Deputy Managing Director of the Brightwater Group.