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  • Nicky Webster-Hart

What is a candidate looking for when they ask about the company culture?

One of the reasons it is important to partner with a recruiter - (and if you are going to partner with anyone, it really should be Auxeris ;) ) - is that they will take the time to get to know your business and understand the company culture. This helps them to ensure they are creating a shortlist of candidates that are a right fit for your business. A shared fit between employee and organisation, creates a positive and collaborative workplace, improves talent retention and increases performance. Essentially it will positively impact your bottom line. Your aims when recruiting should be to ensure that you recruit candidates that are a cultural fit from post room to executive board and everything in-between.

Clients: This is what company culture mean to candidates

But coming from the other side of the lens, although it is a candidate led market, nobody particularly likes job hopping, which means that company culture is just as important for candidates, as it is for clients. These days, millennials and Gen'Zers are more interested in what their employer stands for. What their values are, if you will. What are your policies on the environment and reducing carbon footprint? How do you support their local community? Do you support and invest in local initiatives?

So what exactly is ‘cultural fit'? Historically, cultural fit has been seen as the likelihood that a candidate will be able to conform and adapt to the core values and behaviours that make up a business….but is this really true now? In the post ‘Great Resignation’ world we now face, it is surely now more true that a cultural fit is where both the organisation and the job seeker has shared values, rather than the ability to conform and adapt. As businesses strive to become more inclusive and flexible, the requirement to conform and adapt becomes less from the candidate and cultural fit becomes more about alignment with values.

Candidates: Here are some ways to identify a company culture that meets your values

For candidates in today’s marketplace, you should be looking at which businesses represent your professional values and beliefs. Auxeris has some ways that can help you assess whether a business is potentially a good fit for you:

  • What is the ethos and culture? Do you respect this? Is this aligned to your personal and professional values?

  • Look for red flags, check out GlassDoor and other reviews. If there have been negative comments ask what steps they are taking to address these and make sure you are satisfied with their answers before progressing any further.

  • How do people address each other within the organisation, is their tone positive, inclusive, informal, friendly, supportive?

  • Do they have a long winded recruitment process with numerous meetings or are they efficient and fast moving?

  • Why has the vacancy arisen? Is it because of expansion or is it replacing someone who has left (if so, why did they leave)?

  • How do the company treat outgoing employees? It's ok for people to leave for career progression and opportunities elsewhere but do the business mention their outgoing employees on social media for example?

  • If career progression is important to you, do they have strong succession planning and support personal development?

  • Ask about their values and how they implement them into how they treat their team (they may have a super duper D&I statement but look at their leadership team and around the business, just how representative are they?)

Never be afraid to ask the questions you need to ask. Whether negative or positive, both responses are a gift and at least you know what their stance is. Knowledge gives you the power to decide whether an organisation will be a good fit for you. You can only know this by asking the questions on those things that matter most to you.

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