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Why company culture is more important than ever when hiring tech talent

Why company culture is more important than ever when hiring tech talent.

Now more than ever companies are struggling to hire and retain top tech talent, and one of the reasons behind this is based on what today’s jobseekers prioritise when looking for their next role.

Today’s jobseekers, especially millennials and Gen Z, focus on company values in addition to salary and progression opportunities. They look for employers with an inclusive culture that embraces diversity as well as moral and environmental concerns. A staggering 98% of people, according to City of London Economic Research, say they wouldn't work for a company that didn't share their principles.

What is company culture?

Company culture describes the attitudes, practices, and behaviours that guide how the management and staff of a company interact do business. Corporate culture will often become apparent naturally over time from the characteristics of the individuals in the organisation.

A company's culture will be evident within operations, including dress code, office setting, working hours, employee perks, turnover, hiring choices, how staff and clients are treated, and client satisfaction.

Why is company culture important?

As mentioned, above company culture can affect turnover, hiring choices, and how staff and clients are treated. A bad company culture is one resulting in high turnover, one in which employees don’t feel valued, one with poor communication, and one with poor work-life balance. All of these can drive valuable employees away which means the company is less likely to reach its desired goals.

When companies value their employees, it can have many positive effects including:

  • Increased loyalty and employee retention
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved employee health
  • Reduced turnover

What do employees value the most?

On 16th February 2023 Paul Polman, a former Unilever chief executive published their first ever Net Positive Employee Barometer where they surveyed 4,000 workers in the US and UK. They asked these workers ‘When considering a new job, how important if at all, are each of the following to you?’ And it was revealed that 80% of UK employees consider company values important when looking for a new job.  Employees were also concerned about the following:

  • Commitment to the environment, 76%
  • Commitment to social equality, 77%
  • Commitment to economic equality, 75%

With the current state of the global economy, employees want to know that the company they work for has plans to make a positive impact on the world. The Polmon report found that 70% of UK employees want their company to have a reputation for doing good in society.

What environmental issues are there in the workplace and how can companies tackle this?

Environmental issues include all external factors that affect a business, this can be anything from the company’s contribution to climate change, pollution, and the use of non-renewable goods.

How companies can tackle environmental issues:

  • Encourage sustainable commuting by offering cycle-to-work schemes, and hybrid working environments, or encourage employees to shift to electric vehicles.
  • Reduced wastage in the workplace, by reducing heating and cooling through the use of renewable energy sources.
  • Investment in greener equipment by making company vehicles electric or switching bulbs and air conditioners to more sustainable alternatives.
  • Reducing value-chain emissions, which involves working closely with suppliers to reduce activities that increase carbon emissions.

What social issues are there in the workplace and how can companies tackle this?

Social issues include the people that work for the company, the issues can surround topics including poverty, sexism, racism, drug and alcohol dependence and domestic violence.

How companies can tackle social issues:

  • Increase diversity and inclusion by sharing your initiatives on job descriptions, as well as thinking about starting employee network groups, including; women’s networks, LGBTIQ+ networks, minority networks, and disability networks. Find out more about diversity in tech here.
  • Give back to the community by offering volunteer days to employees.
  • Offer courses and qualifications to show you are dedicated to your employee’s professional development.
  • Offer healthcare programmes that can help cover the costs of expensive procedures, this could also cover family members as well.

How to improve your company culture to attract top tech talent

Instead of companies having the upper hand, it is now a candidate-driven market where employees can be more selective in whom to work for. Companies now need to persuade a talented applicant to join their organisation rather than a competitor, one way they can do this is to focus on company culture. Companies can make simple changes to improve their company culture, this includes:

  • Listening to your employees
  • Investing in your employees through upskilling and development programmes
  • Demonstrating your commitment to future-proofing your work environment
  • Sharing your mission statement
  • Sharing your current projects
  • Putting effective diversity policies in place
  • Be genuine about your company’s values, ethics, and mission statement (Show examples where possible).

As mentioned above employees are beginning to take into consideration whether companies are taking action to tackle environmental and societal challenges. So, if you have projects surrounding these make sure you include them in your job description, or somewhere on your careers page to attract top-quality candidates.

Attracting the workforce of the future

Generation Z (born between 1997-2012) and Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are the generations of the future workforce and given the close relationship between Gen Z and technology, they are frequently seen as essential to assisting organisations in closing the digital skills gaps. This is the reason why it is so important for companies to carefully consider their company culture when they are vying for the best young digital talent.

The Polman report found that over 60% of Gen Z UK employees want their companies to take a stronger stance on the environment and economic inequality. Therefore, it’s time for companies to reconsider their company culture and what they stand for in order to attract and retain top-quality tech and IT professionals.

Find out more about what to include in your job descriptions to attract top tech candidates