Job seekers are skilled at “reading between the lines” and learning about your company culture from the language in your job listings. In our previous post in this series, we looked at hidden discriminatory language in job listings. Today, we look at what job listings reveal about your company culture.

Culture Matters

Culture remains one of the most important factors in successful hires. We’ve written before about how to recruit candidates who are the right cultural fit for your company, but culture is a two-way street: potential employees are also evaluating your job listings to see if you are the right fit for them. In brief, here are the main reasons that culture matters so much in recruiting:

  • Culture affects employee turnover and satisfaction. Studies show that 46% of new hires turn-over within the first 18 months of being hired (source), and the primary reason is cultural fit. 
  • Culture attracts top-tier candidates. Among the best and most qualified candidates, culture is the deciding factor for the jobs they choose (source). If you want to attract world-class talent, create job postings that offer these candidates what they are really looking for.   
  • Culture motivates productivity. Employees who are the right cultural fit are 36% more productive than employees who aren’t (source).

When company culture isn’t a good match, employees often say that the written posting and interview process informed them about the job and their duties, but did not sufficiently inform them about the company culture. When top-tier candidates don’t apply for a job, they often cite cultural issues like their desire to make a difference, or have more autonomy, or enjoy greater flexibility at work: reading the job listings, talking to existing employees, or reading employee reviews has indicated that the company isn’t right for them. 

So how can you write job listings that communicate and promote company culture, in order to attract candidates who are a good fit?

Write Job Listings That Reflect Your Mission and Values

It’s common practice to include your company mission or value statement in your job listings. However, many mission statements are all the same, and fail to communicate anything meaningful about your daily culture. Instead, share specific examples and indicators that reflect your values. For example:

  • Instead of “we are inclusive and value diversity”, name specific metrics, initiatives, and goals that reflect your actual staff diversity or commitment to inclusivity.
  • Instead of “we believe in sustainability and corporate responsibility”, share your sustainability targets and progress, your charitable initiatives and contributions, your waste reduction metrics, or other concrete examples of how you live up to that goal. 
  • Instead of “we value our employees”, share your Glassdoor reviews, or statistics about turnover and employee length of service. 

In other words, let candidates know that your corporate values drive daily processes and decisions. 

Remember that “culture” goes beyond your mission statement. Culture is also reflected in the word choice in your job listings, and can be parsed from words like “supportive”, “cooperative”, “flexible”, and so forth. Top candidates want companies that respect their opinion and value their input, where they can make a difference, and where they can achieve their long-term goals. Most candidates don’t want to be constantly job-hopping and job-searching: they are looking for a place where they can put down roots and thrive. Are you offering that? 

Pay Attention to Your Current Employees

When considering how to write job listings that attract the right cultural match, your existing employees are often your best resource. Their honest opinion about the company and their work life is what drives reviews and referrals, and can help you create job listings that attract the right people. 

What do your existing employees appreciate about your company culture? What do they like most about the workplace? Is it flexible hours and work/life balance? Is it a supportive environment with a collaborative work style? Is the company committed to having a positive impact on the world? Do you have gorgeous workspaces, great benefits, career progression, or fun perks? Find out what your employees love about their jobs, and include it in your postings to attract candidates who feel the same way. 

Making the right cultural match is crucial for success in recruiting and hiring, and your job listings are your first opportunity to attract candidates who are the right fit. Read them carefully to determine what subtle signals you are sending to At grapefrute, we pride ourselves on making the right match, finding candidates who don’t just have the right skills, but also have the right disposition for the job. For expert advice on how to write job listings that communicate the right way, contact us for a consultation.