It’s a candidate’s market, and options – along with some pandemic-inspired introspection – have made many people question what really matters to them in their professional career. Some are looking to prioritize work-life balance, and others want to minimize travel or focus on a mission-driven organization.
Right now, a topic that is top of mind for many candidates is the culture of a company. Amidst this abundance of employment riches, they want to know as early on as possible what it will be like to work for a company.
For the most part, this isn’t something that recruiters are able to speak about with any degree of confidence, as they aren’t internal to the organization. It also simply isn’t top of mind during the conversations between the organization and the recruiting firm that set up the search. In those meetings, it’s the hard skills that come top of the agenda, such as years of experience and education background.
But it can be disheartening for candidates to hear that they need to pass through a screening round or two before they will get a chance to ask those key culture questions. If they are a good candidate, and they are fielding multiple interested parties, then this dampener on their enthusiasm could prove very costly.
The upshot? When hiring the services of a recruiting firm, it is well worth taking a small amount of time to describe the softer aspects that proudly define your own company. This might not be the easiest thing, as culture by its very definition has a strong element of the intangible, but here are some places to start:
- What are your core values, and how do they translate over into practice?
- Is there a space for employees to share ideas and feel heard?
- Is there a platform for people at different levels of the company to interact?
- Does your company host events, retreats, or other team-building initiatives?
Ideally, the description should be concrete (better to not just state an abstracted buzzword) but easy to explain – you don’t want to take up a lot of the recruiter’s time with a candidate, but you do want that recruiter to be able to reassure them that culture is an important aspect of what you do, such that they want to keep moving forward until the point of introduction.
Olivia Hanninen is a Project Manager at ECA. She can be reached at [email protected]