April 15th, 2019 | Sterling

Attracting and Retaining Talent Through Cultural Change

Many organisations struggle to compete for talent in today’s tight labour market, especially if you have a more traditional or tired culture that doesn’t appeal to some of the job seekers out there.  If recruiting and retaining the best talent for your organisation is a challenge, it may be that you need to adjust your culture to gain a competitive advantage and attract the right employees.

Join Sterling at the CIPD Festival of Work in London on Thursday 13th June, where Meredith Van Eeuwen, VP People & Culture and Steve Smith, Managing Director will be presenting ‘Driving Culture Change Through Talent & Technology: Navigating the Journey’ in the HR Technology Theatre at 11:am.

Research by Robert Half found that more than a third of job seekers would decline a job offer if the role was perfect, but the company culture was a bad fit; while a report by Robert Walters revealed that 73% of workers have left a job because of poor cultural fit.

Ensuring you have a strong, positive company culture is an important piece in the puzzle when attracting and retaining high-quality talent. This is because talented people want to work in organisations that have winning cultures; and hiring people who align with your culture and share your values will most likely be engaged, productive and satisfied employees who thrive in your organisation and stick around for the long term. This will then positively impact your bottom line through increased performance, higher employee engagement and low turnover rates.

According to research by PwC, 80% of executives believe their culture must evolve over the next five years, if they are to succeed, grow and retain the best people. So how do you go about creating a great culture that helps to attract and retain skilled talent?

Define your purpose

In order to stand head and shoulders above the competition when hiring talent, you need to define (or redefine) your core vision and purpose. This means being absolutely clear on why you exist, what you stand for, and where you want to go as a company; and ensuring this is aligned with every part of your company culture. Once you have this pinned down, you must then make sure you communicate it to everyone within your organisation, as well as to candidates throughout the recruitment process.

If your purpose is visible to candidates from the very start, and they are able to buy into it, you will be well on your way to attracting and retaining quality talent who share your mission and values.

Hire for cultural fit

The Robert Walters report found that 81% of hiring managers believe that candidates are less likely to leave an organisation if they are a good cultural fit, while 85% think they will perform better at their job.

If you want to hire people who align with your values and identify with your culture – and who are happy in their role, work well within their team, and stay longer in your organisation – it’s important you build ‘cultural fit’ into the recruitment process. While skills and experience are obviously important, hiring for cultural fit places more emphasis on a candidate’s attitude and aptitude, and is more than just a ‘gut feeling’.

HR and hiring managers can use various tools such as psychometric testing, collaborative hiring, or behavioural-based interview questions to determine whether candidates will be a good cultural fit within the team and the organisation as a whole.

This can also be supported by a robust background screening programme to mitigate the risk of a bad hire and ensure that, when screening for cultural fit, you do not risk any discrimination or bias during the recruitment process.

Create a meaningful working environment

Talented employees want to know how their job impacts on the business as a whole, and why they’re doing the work they’re doing, so they can derive meaning and purpose from it, as well as a sense of achievement.

Employers can create a meaningful workplace by providing support such as regular feedback, training and development, and mentoring programmes, to communicate to staff how their role fits into the bigger picture, in terms of the company’s broader mission and goals; what impact their work is having; and how you are committed to their professional growth and development. All of this will increase their sense of meaning and belonging within the business, which will in turn help to boost employee motivation, engagement, and retention.

Lead by example

A winning company culture starts at the top. Leaders can shape a company’s culture through their beliefs, values and behaviours, so they must be clear on these, and live by them, so that the rest of the organisation can follow their lead and know what they are working towards.

Those at the top must create and champion a positive culture that is woven into all parts of the organisation.  They need to promote open, honest and authentic communication, as well as trust, respect and accountability.

HR must therefore work closely with senior leadership teams to set an example and reinforce the behaviours and values they want to see represented throughout the business.

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.