Do Job Candidates Care About Company Culture?

For Employers

By Kristina Paudler, Director of Hospital & Healthcare Recruitment

Two years ago, “Culture” was Time Magazine’s “Word of the Year.” Today, the term “Company Culture” is pervasive when describing enterprises worldwide.

There are various definitions of Company Culture but most agree on several points: that Company Culture refers to the philosophies, values and behavior that define how a company operates. The company culture can define how a company handles clients, employee benefits, hiring decisions, even the office setup and dress code.

Company culture is extremely important to prospective job seekers. A person’s decision to work for a specific organization usually entails whether or not the company has a vested interest in prioritizing its employees’ long-term goals over immediate success.

Hiring a person cannot be based on skill set and experience alone. There must be a cultural fit, one that ties in with someone’s professional and personal goals. There is not really a one-size-fits-all solution to having a strong company culture. The industry, the success, the brand, and size of the company are all factors that affect company culture. We have to look at what exactly it is that the candidate seeks and whether the organization can offer an environment to achieve those goals. Not everyone seeks the same thing. Understanding what the pain triggers are for each candidate can determine if the organization is a fit for them.

Examples of what job candidates look for in a Company Culture:

  • Does the organization value their employees?
  • How strong and respected are leadership and management?
  • What’s the working environment like? (For example, long hours or ability work remotely)
  • Is the organization successful?
  • Could the company yield a better work/life balance?
  • Are the employees happy? Loving what they’re doing?
  • Is there a stagnant philosophy or work environment? (Company is not evolving with the times; not adaptable)

As an executive recruiter, my perspective of what defines company culture is not necessarily based on whether a company offers great “perks” or is “trendy,” but is tied to the success of a company. Some companies have a very intense “work around the clock” type of environment, as a result of the industry and competitive landscape. Some people thrive and like that environment; others may not. Innovation can be important component to culture.

I’ve had candidates say that their current organization does not encourage new ideas or transformation — like adapting to constantly changing technology, or an increase in competition. They’ve said, “Our company’s got a ‘this is the way we’ve always done it’ attitude.” Some candidates seek a culture that is current, is implementing best practices, adapts to technology, encourages innovation, etc.

Additionally, a successful company culture can include having strong, reputable leadership in place. People typically like to work with well-respected leaders. Often you hear of people following their former boss to another company. Most employees feel good about working under someone they admire, sometimes even accepting a pay cut or relocation, because they trust and respect their boss.

Company Culture is often something prospective hires may hear about “through the grapevine” or by researching online reviews of the company through websites like Glassdoor or Indeed. Companies that do not place enough importance on growing and nurturing a positive company culture may find that it can adversely affect employee retention and hiring.

Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for the Casino Gaming; Hotels and Resorts; Travel, Tourism, and Attractions; Facilities and Concessions; Food and Beverage Manufacturing; Restaurant; Hospital and Healthcare; and Nonprofit industries.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a candidate.

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