Chapter 2

Using Company Culture to Align With Prospective Employees

Culture eats strategy for breakfast.

A rock-solid recruitment process also ensures stronger alignment with your company culture, which is the hidden glue that brings people together around a shared goal. A well-defined recruiting program is ultimately a pathway to strengthen and reinforce your company culture. Rather than scrambling over details, candidates and hiring managers can focus on getting to know each other better.

“The thing that will endure for 100 years, the way it has for most 100-year companies, is the culture,” wrote Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb in a company email and republished on Startups.co

“Culture is a thousand things, a thousand times. It’s living the core values when you hire, when you write an email, when you are working on a project, when you are walking in the hall. We have the power, by living the values, to build the culture.”

Candidates conduct their own independent research about your company. They’re reading reviews on Glassdoor, looking up existing team members on LinkedIn, reading up on media coverage, and browsing through social media profiles on platforms like Stack Overflow. 

These puzzle pieces, together, comprise your employer brand.

Put simply, your employer brand is your company’s personality and reputation. It’s the attributes that characterize your culture. It’s what people say about your organization behind the scenes and how your team feels working there. 

One company to popularize the concept of an employer brand was LinkedIn.

“It’s about how you want your organization to be perceived in the marketplace, using specific messaging to help attract the kind of prospects you’re looking for,” wrote Sarah Lybrand for the LinkedIn Talent Blog. “But also, it’s about living out that story.”

Employer branding is even more important for startups, which can’t rely on name recognition, company history, or stability… yet. Just because your company is new and small doesn’t mean it’s risky working there. Rather, startups need to work extra hard on their brand to make NOT working there seem like a risky career decision! 

A savvy and thoughtful employer brand will function as a catalyst for your recruiting and hiring efforts. When you put a good narrative out there, it will attract the attention of potential employees who are interested in your startup. The components of your employer brand include but are not limited to the following:

  • Messaging that you use on your recruiting website

  • Any hiring-focused blogs, events, or communication programs 

  • Videos and photos you share publicly

  • Social media profiles on platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Stack Overflow, etc

Candidates are wondering why they would want to work at your company—Answer that question in a clean, consistent, and compelling manner. This is a great opportunity to ‘show, don’t tell’ by stating your company’s vision and purpose. 

For inspiration, take a look at some of the company profiles on Purpose. The goal of each microsite is to tell their story and offer insight into what life is like behind the scenes. Make a point to showcase the humanity of your company through employee stories and profiles. Doing so exemplifies that your employees matter and that you’ve made a concerted effort to create a solid company culture. 

You can start with Airspace Link, a Detroit startup building digital infrastructure for drones.

Airspace Link's Purpose profile illuminates an employer brand with strong values, deep empathy, and appreciation for employee development and wellness. Photos illuminate a diverse team that is creative, collaborative, and cohesive.

Airspace Link Jobs in Detroit - Purpose Jobs

 

The goal of this profile is to help candidates feel welcome rather than recruited. After browsing through the photo gallery, values, and videos, take a step back and ask yourself: Are these people whom you would want to call colleagues? Friends?

That’s the power of building and showcasing company culture. 

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