August 2nd, 2017 | Debbie Lamb, Sterling Talent Solutions

Five Ideas to Communicate Company Culture to Candidates

When job seekers are evaluating potential employers, one of the most important factors is the company culture. To attract and retain top talent, HR professionals constantly wrestle with both nurturing their company culture and communicating it to candidates through their employer brand. Although seasoned employees may have the most to say about their company’s culture, they aren’t often able to share with candidates until later stages in the interview process. By then, the potential new hires have experienced several touch points to give them impressions of the organization. With consistent messaging, the impression should be a good one.

Importance of Candidate Experience

Company culture is more important than ever for both candidates and employers. In fact, as the competition for high-performing talent continues to increase, employers can no longer afford to have anything less than a consistent, simple and personalized experience for their candidates. The Sterling Talent Solutions Background Screening Trends & Best Practices Report 2017 found that companies are looking to elevate and differentiate the candidate experience. The 500+ HR professionals surveyed thought that tech improvements including mobile background screening ability (51%), real-time hiring process status updates (53%) and digital consent forms with eSignatures (42%) would help enhance the candidate experience.

Company Culture Touchpoints

Many organizations rank cultural fit on par with (or even more important than) technical skills and have begun focusing greater attention on fit in the talent acquisition process. There are many ways that a company can communicate its company culture to job candidates both on and offline. Below are just five key company culture touchpoints that can (and should) be seen by the candidate throughout the hiring process:

  1. Corporate website- This is usually the first stop for job seekers. Your website should communicate not just your products and offerings, but a peek at leadership and the folks who are running the show. Your blog can help show a little personality and let the world know what’s important to your organization. It’s also a great way to highlight the industry expertise of some of the people inside your organization.
  2. Social media- The social media phenomenon shows no signs of stopping. Channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, are windows into your organization’s culture, both in the content you post or promote as well as the day-to-day culture of the employees. Photos often give outsiders a glimpse of whether it’s a buttoned-up kind of place or a casual “anything goes” environment. With job-focused sites like Glassdoor.com, you’ll want to make sure your social channels are current and in line with the company mission.
  3. Recruiting process- The recruiter is usually the first voice a candidate speaks to at your organization, and usually makes a great impression. But how an organization (recruiters and beyond) treats candidates who don’t make the final cut for a job is revealing as well. The Sterling Trends Survey found that 45% of companies do not update their candidates when there is a delay in the hiring process. Communication to all candidates and a respectful process help promote your organization as a class act. People who have a negative experience are more likely to gripe to others and less likely to support your brand down the road. According to the 2016 North American Talent Board Candidate Experience Report, 81% of candidates share positive experiences with their inner circles (family, friends, peers), and their negative experience 66% of the time. Candidates also share positive (51%) and negative (34%) hiring experiences via social media (Glassdoor and LinkedIn).
  4. Hiring process- This is usually the most overlooked part of an organization’s public persona: the time between when the company extends a candidate an offer to the first day on the job. If a candidate needs a fax machine to send back an offer letter, it says the company isn’t quite on the “cutting edge” of technology. If communication is slow, that speaks volumes as well. Alternatively, a process that is technology-based, mobile-friendly and easy to navigate can position an organization as a leader as well as one who cares about a positive candidate experience.
  5. Onboarding- New hires will remember their first day on the job. If it’s spent waiting to be issued a security badge or laptop or holed up in a conference room churning through paperwork, that sends a loud message about corporate culture. Arriving on the first day to a prepared workplace with the necessary tools being in place to start meaningful work, and no time spent on paperwork alone in a conference room, tells new hires they’ve made the right choice of employer.

Explaining Company Culture Enhances the Candidate Experience

It’s important to understand the company culture touchpoints and how your efforts to communicate your company culture can impact the candidate experience. If done well, your candidates’ impressions of your organization can be reinforced by those seasoned employees of yours when they reach the final interview stages; however, if overlooked or executed poorly, potential new hires may turn away before you get another chance to sell them on your organization.

Learn more about how Sterling Talent Solutions can empower your HR department to provide a superior candidate experience with engaging hiring solutions from offer to onboard. You can learn more about the hiring trends found in the Sterling Talent Solutions Background Screening Trends and Best Practices Report 2017 by downloading a copy today.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.