According to LinkedIn, the search for a better company culture is one of the top reasons why candidates switch jobs. Every company has its own unique practices, values and social makeup which creates its culture and by developing an attractive culture, businesses draw the attention of candidates. But how do you ensure candidates know what it really feels like to work for your company? After all, they can’t be attracted to what they don’t know. Here, we take a look at how you can effectively share your company culture at different stages of the recruitment funnel to attract top talent.
The awareness and consideration stages
At the top of the funnel is where we can first make potential candidates aware of company culture. Here you can get creative with recruitment marketing and begin sharing snapshots of what's going on internally with passive candidates.
An easy and great way to do this is by consistently sharing any achievements of the team publicly, for example: welcoming new starters, announcing promotions and milestones and highlighting glowing feedback from customers. By showing that your team is recognised and celebrated, you are demonstrating that you appreciate them and the value they bring to the business.
Don't forget to shout about any fun team activities too! Social media is perfect for this and updates can be shared via whichever platforms you feel will be seen by your target candidates (i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram). By sharing these updates, people will start to regard your company brand positively.
The interest and application stages
If someone is engaged with your company brand and you advertise a role which aligns to the next step in their career path, the chances are the next action for them is research. This is a great opportunity for you to share more in-depth content so candidates can get a feel for whether they align with your company’s culture.
Highlighting a channel where candidates can easily sift through more in-depth content on culture can transform them from a passive candidate to an active candidate if they feel aligned to what they are seeing. Company benefits, company values, photos / videos of team activities, employee journeys and employee testimonials are all great ways to engage candidates.
Let’s quickly also look at employee testimonials. Not only do these appeal to active candidates, but they will also be of interest to passive candidates. Content from employees - either written or, even better, video - talking about their own experience, what it’s really like to work within your company and their favourite parts of their roles offers an authentic voice and can show some of the different personalities behind the brand. It can be that call to action that will turn a passive candidate into an active one. They might enjoy their job, but if they can see they could love it at another company, then you’ll have their interest.
Maintaining momentum between funnel stages
Okay, so the candidate has applied. This is where you get to put your money where your mouth is and start to show candidates first hand that you live by your culture when you are directly communicating with them.
There are two ways you can do this:
- By including any company or team content in your interview invite email templates.
- Most importantly, by making sure your hiring managers are representing the culture authentically.
By drip feeding any team photos, video collages, or company news in emails during the interviewing stage, you’ll encourage the candidate to become even further engaged. An example we used at Xref when we were hiring during COVID-19 was to share a time lapse video tour of our office, giving them a feel for the vibe and set up of our space for when we would start visiting the office again. Continuing engagement at the bottom of the funnel increases the chance of those great candidates wanting to join.
The selection and hire stages
When it comes to interviewing (whether in person or online) I’d recommend making sure the interviewers are reflecting the culture in how they structure the interview (i.e. if you’re a large corporate company, it might be more formal or if you’re a start up it might have more of a relaxed flow). You want them to be authentic in talking about their own journey and highlights, but also to not shy away from mentioning any areas that the company is working on to improve its culture, or elements of the culture which might not be suited to everyone. Whatever it may be, people value hearing a realistic summary over a utopian view...it will be pretty evident once they’re in the role if you’ve sugar coated and exaggerated certain parts!
Finally, if there is a gap between when someone is hired and when they start the role, can you think of anything further you could drip feed here? Pre-COVID-19, at Xref people might have been invited for team social events, but once we went fully virtual we decided to share some fun employee interview videos of their soon-to-be teammates (which we filmed as part of an engagement strategy) so they could start to get to know them before their first day.
There are lots of creative ways to ensure you are engaging candidates effectively at the different stages of the talent acquisition funnel. The above examples are some of the approaches we have taken to build our candidate journey out over the last 12 months. It certainly hasn’t been a “normal” working environment for talent acquisition specialists like myself. We’ve had to adapt quickly to ensure we offer the same authentic, engaging and insightful experience to candidates as we would if we were welcoming them to our beautiful office filled with hard-working, fun-loving people. It’s been a challenge but, like many others, I’ve definitely seen the value of this heightened focus on finding and promoting our company culture when we’re carrying out each stage of the TA funnel remotely.
About Amy Cotterill:
Amy Cotterill is the Global Talent Acquisition Lead for Xref, a leader in online referencing checking. With seven years of recruitment industry experience under her belt, she has led teams and hired talent across multiple roles, regions and seniority. Currently, she is responsible for the global talent acquisition function at Xref, which she has built from the ground up. She is passionate about creating the best candidate and employee experience and enabling human connection. Amy is also a keen diver, taking any opportunity she can to jump under the waves with sharks and other beautiful marine life.
This blog was originally published in Recruitment Marketing Magazine on 12/03/2021