Gone are the days when companies looking to hire held all the cards. In today’s hiring market, great talent is more in demand than ever before, and companies need to do all they can to attract the top individuals. This is true even more true in supply chain management and its related disciplines (areas in which we at Argentus specialize), where a combination of rapidly changing market forces and business requirements, as well as a looming shortage of talent, means that supply chain professionals are becoming both scarcer and more valued.
As a result of these changes in the hiring market, company culture has gained prominence. In the 21st century, companies need to offer more than competitive compensation rates and career growth opportunities if they are to attract the most skilled and high-potential workers.
Furthermore, new surveys come out all the time about how the ascendant millennial workforce values culture, flexibility, and a shared sense of mission in the workplace more than previous generations did.
Workplace culture is a hot topic, and you can see the effect it has had on job descriptions – most of which now try to sell open roles to candidates by describing the organizational’s culture (with a healthy smattering of buzzwords) in addition to providing information about responsibilities and growth potential.
We all know that culture is about more than foosball tables or casual Fridays. Flexibility, work-life balance, and neat perks are all great, but many candidates now take these to be given. They are no longer the same differentiators they used to be. The question for recruiters, then, is how do you convey your company’s actual culture in a meaningful way at every step of the hiring process?
1. Show, Don’t Tell
The old writer’s adage is also a good rule of thumb for hiring. It’s one thing to state your core values in a job description or during an interview, but it’s a different and altogether more effective thing to demonstrate those values throughout the hiring process, from interview to feedback to onboarding. Is yours a fast-paced, highly entrepreneurial work culture? Or is this a highly collaborative, team-oriented organization? Do you have a social mission underlying your product? Instead of telling candidates about these things, you should work to show these aspects of your culture, rather than just discussing them.
And how, exactly, do you show off a culture instead of simply telling about it? The next five tips should answer that question.
2. In the Interview, Show Candidates How Your Organization Engages With the Role
A new candidate’s first interview is typically takes place with the human resources department. During this interview, the HR manager needs to show the candidate that they truly understand the role’s scope and potential. They cannot simply discuss generalities. An interview that gets into the meat of the role will help establish that the company takes the function of the role seriously and that the company is agile without being siloed off.
3. Show Off the Company’s Recent Accomplishments
At Argentus, we always council candidates to prepare accomplishment-based resumes that go beyond explaining their simple duties and responsibilities. Companies should do the same thing to get candidates excited about a role. A company that is able to prepare a compelling picture of where the organization is going and what its biggest accomplishments are (with quantitative data and specifics) will showcase its culture in action – which is much more compelling than simply describing the culture.
Remember: Top candidates are evaluating the role just as much as the organization is evaluating them. It takes a lot to get star performers away from their desks and to the hiring table. They have to see that an organization is growing and maturing and that they’ll have the opportunity to be truly strategic partners in this growth and maturation.
4. Show the Candidate How They Can Make an Impact
This tip rolls from the previous one. What will the candidate’s career trajectory look like? You should demonstrate to the candidate the kinds of initiatives they will take on and the ways in which they will have room to grow.
Ask them for their opinions on recent initiatives. Ask them how they’d contribute and provide a road map for what their deliverables will be in the first few months of the role. Think about what your approach to these questions implies about your company culture. Is the culture fast-paced? Is it informal? Is it full of passionate individuals? Is it the type of company where you’re not afraid of having fun once in a while? Your interview style should be as close to your working style as possible.
5. Show the Candidate Around. Get Them Involved
After or during an interview, you should take the candidate on a tour around the office and facility. Introduce them to the team they’ll be working with, and let the team participate in the interview process. This is your best chance to show off your organization’s culture. It’s the moment when an exceptional candidate truly decides whether or not this is the kind of place they’d like to work.
What’s more, this presents a further opportunity for a candidate to show off their own ideas. For example, if you’re hiring for a supply chain or logistics role, show the candidate the warehouse and get their feedback.
6. Show the Candidate That You Are Committed to the Hire
How many candidates have applied to companies touting their “fast-paced” work cultures only to wait weeks for feedback? Companies should aim to respond to candidates as soon as possible. This applies if you’re looking to schedule another interview, if you’re looking to make an offer, and even if the candidate is not right for the role. After all, if a candidate isn’t right for this job, there’s still a chance they’ll be a perfect fit for a new role down the line.
Building an employer brand is about maintaining candidates’ interest in your company over the course of their careers, not just at a specific moment. The manner and speed with which you provide feedback after an interview speaks volumes about your company’s culture.
Many companies we work with at Argentus attract top-performing, ambitious individuals with great people skills because they’re able to nail all these aspects of the hiring process. These are just a few tips, but hopefully they are enough to get companies thinking about how every moment in the hiring process is an opportunity to show off the company’s culture.
A version of this article originally appeared on the Argentus blog.