Employers already know how much money is lost every time an employee leaves. The cost is higher now because it’s taking longer to find replacement employees in such a tight employment market. Why do employees leave? There are a host of reasons, but culture was identified as a big driver of employee turnover as far back as 1973 in a Harvard Business Review study.
But what is culture? How does it impact hiring? How can you know what your own unique corporate culture embodies?
Values vs. Culture Gap
An article in the Harvard Business Review this year followed up their earlier work by recognizing three key elements to any business culture:
- Employee behaviors
- Company systems
- Department and business practices and processes
You’ll notice we did not talk about pool tables and catered meals, although these perks are great. Culture is more than providing snacks, it’s about the overall work environment.
For example, all companies espouse values, such as hiring diversity, but these are goals, not practices. Having a great set of values only makes for good corporate culture when a company’s practices and employee behaviors embody what is written in the policy manuals. Here’s what this looks like in real life:
- The company that says it wants collaboration and consensus building, but only puts autocratic dictators in leadership roles.
- The company says there is work/life balance but it fails to offer parental leave or frequently requires people to work on the weekends or stay late.
- The company says they have a learning culture but fails to provide employees with an educational benefit or on-site learning opportunities.
If your company is falling into the gap between values and cultural practices, it’s going to affect you in all kinds of ways, but particularly in your ability to attract new employees.
Is My Company Culture Winning New Employees?
Job board ZipRecruiter says, “Having a candidate attraction strategy that speaks to your company culture will increase the likeliness of attracting and engaging talent who will thrive and stay with you longer.” But how do you know how much of the culture is coming through during the interview process? The easy and fast answer is to poll your employees. Ask them key questions, including:
- What do they think the corporate culture is?
- Is the company culture they’re in today different from what they thought it would be during the hiring process?
The first step toward building a better culture and then carrying it over into the hiring process requires an understanding of how the work environment is perceived. Having your HR and hiring teams discussing culture regularly is also important. These teams should not only have a strong grasp of what corporate culture is, but also how to sell it to candidates. Marketing managers should also get involved by creating collateral materials that engage potential candidates. While partnering with an outside recruiting team is an important part of remaining competitive in a tight labor market, these firms should also sell the company culture as a desirable reason to come on board.
Make Blackstone Part of Your Culture
If you’re an employer looking for a competitive edge, contact our talented team. We’re standing by to find your company the best employees for even the most difficult jobs you’re trying to fill.