What do you think your best job search candidates are looking for? Spoiler: The best candidates value company culture!
Of course, the answer for each person will depend on the person, their circumstances, maybe the economy, their goals, etc. I know someone who had his pick of many opportunities but ultimately chose the highest-paid option and regretted it until he left that organization.
The very best candidates value company culture.
Here’s an article, with a link to a study, that supports this.
Do you need to hire unicorns? I mean… it would be nice, right? But sometimes what you are looking for is just someone to do a job, even if they aren’t a unicorn. Let’s say one out of every 100 hires should be a unicorn. I’m not writing this article for the 99, I’m writing it for that one. I want you to internalize they idea that every good thing you do to nurture and grow a strong organizational culture is so you can attract, hire, and retain that one unicorn.
Of course, every other person working for you will appreciate what you do to create and protect an awesome culture. I want you to move beyond ONE thing to improve your culture and think about the details… those little things that enhance your culture. I want you to continually ask yourself how your culture is doing, and what you can do to improve it.
I want you to have fun with your organization’s culture! I want you to take pride in what you are creating, the strategies around your organizational culture, and how you carry out each step to have a strong, enviable culture that the unicorn candidate is attracted to.
Unicorn candidates have a lot to add. They are high producers. They are (hopefully) free of drama. They come in, do an amazing job, and go home. They are consistent. They increase the value of your organization and help your P&Ls look better. Some are fixers, others are creators. They can drastically change the momentum of your organization.
They also have other offers. While they are evaluating total compensation packages (earning potential), they are also considering things like flexibility, commute, leadership and training opportunities, what their boss and leadership is like, etc. They are looking at a holistic view of the opportunity you are putting in front of them. Will they have fun? Will they make a difference? Will they be appreciated?
Unicorns go for more than just salary. They know their work might be valued elsewhere. Figure out what their hot buttons are (career advancement, working with industry leaders, etc.) and work those. But definitely, always put the strengths of your culture up front, loud and clear.
All candidates value company culture. New kids out of school might not understand it, but they can still sense it. They might value company culture because of your employer brand, or because of what they see when they walk through your office (people smiling and happy, or everyone looking depressed). The better candidates value company culture in a different way… they are actively looking for signs that show you have the culture you are looking for.
I would argue that unicorn candidates value company culture even more. Because of past work environments, they are perhaps most interested in the kind of environment they’ll work in. That is, to them, the company culture. These candidates might value company culture more than you value your own company culture! They are attracted to it, aware of it, and appreciate it.
All this to say, you need to get more serious about your company culture. The people you want to hire are seriously evaluating it!