The Intersection Between Marketing and Recruitment: Communicating A Positive Company Culture
Blogs, websites, apps, press releases, social media posts, among others—today, companies have a plethora of tools at their fingertips when communicating with intended audiences.
If you’ve read the mission statements and other messaging on corporate websites, you’ve probably run across language reflective of a company’s culture. Company culture is defined as the way a company behaves, its shared values and the business practices they follow, both formal and informal.
When a business is communicating its company’s culture, what’s the significance of this communication and who is the intended audience? Companies might be targeting random visitors to its website or it may be targeting important stakeholders. Other intended audiences can include customers, clients or jobseekers.
Studies have repeatedly shown that workplace culture and how employees feel about their jobs is a big deal. In fact, based on the website 1huddle.co, “a third of job seekers would let go of their perfect job if the workplace culture wasn’t a good fit. And over 70% of workers cited corporate culture as an important factor influencing their decision to work at any given company.”
Imperfect employment matches on the other hand, typically end in a high turnover, which according to Work Institute, cost U.S. companies more than $680 billion in 2019. Employee Benefit News (EBN) reported that the cost of replacing an employee was equivalent to 33% of an employee’s annual salary!
Elizabeth Ogilvie, Esq., SHRM-CP and consultant for Furia Rubel Communications, Inc. had this to say about workplace culture, retention and turnover.
“The Great Resignation triggered a long-term rebalancing of power in the workplace; it is no longer enough to just offer a job with pay and a few benefits,” said Ogilvie. “As Jenn Lim often says, employees want purpose in their work,” she continued. “They want to feel fulfilled at the end of the day, and they want to be valued for more than just their skill set. That is where workplace culture comes in.
“Research has found that a positive workplace culture leads to greater productivity and purpose and employee engagement equates to loyalty and longevity. A positive workplace culture that focuses on purpose and employee engagement will attract and retain. While we often hear about companies having great difficulty hiring in this hot job market, a bigger expense is actually employee turnover—employee retention is more important than ever,” Ogilvie added.
Besides affecting a company’s bottom line with huge turnover rates, a mismatch in the workplace between employee and employer, also affects morale. When morale is low, when workers are frustrated by abrupt breaks in the training and operational processes based on high company turnover, a company’s brand may suffer, and this will impact recruitment efforts.
This all suggests that branding isn’t just about selling products and services, it’s also associated with how a company communicates its workplace culture and that can even go to how employees are treated at the company and if they feel valued by the employer.
Communications Tools Companies Can Use To Convey Company Culture
Websites – By using various colors, icons, photos, writing style, tone, typography etc., websites help promote a company’s brand. What type of feeling does the website elicit when viewing it? Does it have a fun, freestyle look and feel, communicating a casual culture, or is it more conservative and formal? However a company decides to develop its brand, workplace culture should be reflected in that brand, so that cohesive messages are communicated in a consistent fashion to site visitors.
Marketing & Public Relations – According to the Public Relations Society of America, (PRSA), the nation’s leading professional organization serving the communications community, “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” While PRSA has its definition, public relations is essentially, everything you do or say and this extends to employees, whether they are on the job or if they have already clocked out. If employees are familiar with a company’s culture because the employer is being intentional and clear about communicating those messages, workers are more likely to understand what’s expected of them which allows them to serve as better ambassadors for the company.
Social Media – Social media is a powerful tool for communicating company culture. When advertising jobs, for example on LinkedIn, you’ll see companies taking an opportunity to include messages about company culture in job descriptions or more specifically, in other spaces, such as in the About Us sections on job posts. Language such as, “We are looking for an agile Associate Consultant to join our highly motivated team …” or “We are seeking an energetic and a success-driven individual to head up our sales team,” provides clues as to the type of person the company is searching for. In the About Us section, companies are even more direct when speaking about workplace culture. For example, statements in these sections such as, “Company XYZ believes high quality customer service is a cornerstone of our national culture…,” are typical. When using terminology like this, companies are more likely to attract new hires that are a great fit and who align with that company’s culture.
Podcasts – As the world increasingly turns to audio and video for news, entertainment and information, the appetite for podcasts continues to grow and is expected to increase significantly over the next several years. According to forbes.com, podcast followers spiked during the pandemic and based on recent data from an Infinite Dial survey from Edison One and Triton Digital, “In 2020, an estimated 100 million people listened to a podcast each month and it’s expected to reach 125 million in 2022.”
Furia Rubel Communications Inc. has been recognized nationally for its podcast, On Record PR, winning three w3 Awards. Through industry leaders who come to share their stories, including C-suite executives, journalists, top legal marketing professionals, lawyers, and other experts, guests on the podcast offer insightful information and share perspectives. The selection of guests reflects not just industry trends, but company values. Discussions with guests give Furia Rubel interviewers a chance to guide conversations in a way that reflect the company culture and gives prospective employees a better understanding of who we are.
Blogs/Vlogs – If you’re wondering if the popularity of blogs has waned over the years, the answer is a resounding no, according to experts! A 2020 Hubspot study found that, “60% of people read a blog at least once a week,” and Vloggerpro.com contends that vlogs are still a popular source for people looking to make connections around the globe. Hosting blogs on your website will help to generate traffic to your website, but creating a private internal blog for company workers also enhances a positive work environment. Blogin.com offers these tips on how to use internal blogs to cultivate company culture. Like blogs, vlogging is another way to use video content to share stories. For example, a vlog can show the journey of teammates cooperatively coming together over time to solve a particular problem in the workplace. This can be a powerful way to share your company’s brand on a highly emotional level while at the same time, communicating company culture and why teamwork is important. Top video blog websites which can help your business, according to BuzzFlick, can be found here.
Internal Communications – With the advent of publishing software and more technology being created every day, companies now have more options when communicating with employees internally. Using newsletters to communicate new policies, updates on training, information about salaries, promotions and benefits plus other information, are just some of the things workers want to hear about and which can be achieved through company newsletters, preferably electronically. Making space to communicate personal stories internally can help build solidarity on teams, particularly in a remote environment. Consider an “off-the-clock” feature that highlights employee volunteer activities, hobbies or travel for those employees who are comfortable sharing this information. Having ongoing, open and accurate communication flowing from employer to teams, helps foster a positive company culture workers grow to appreciate. Workers will appreciate the systematic approach in communicating with them and it’s an excellent opportunity to reinforce messages about a positive workplace environment.
The list above offers only some communications strategies a business can use to create and communicate a positive company culture, but don’t forget that behavior speaks volumes as well. Customs and business practices can help create an inclusive and positive workplace culture and sometimes, it’s the atmosphere, body language and tone a company uses that helps others to feel included. In other words, when communicating with team members, it’s not always what you say, it’s how you say it!
Not Sure You Have a Culture That Will Attract and Retain Talent? Here Are Some Considerations
Value skills – Valuing the skill set of each team member is crucial when creating a positive company culture. Right now, a recent red-hot job market seems to be cooling down, but according to the latest employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a gap between job openings and available workers persists, with about two jobs for every unemployed worker. That means workers still have choices and can opt for jobs elsewhere if there’s a better fit. If a passionate and dedicated employee feels valued, it’s a win-win for both the employer and employee.
Communicate with existing employees to increase retention – With inflation staring workers in the face each time they purchase gas or groceries, now is a great time to ramp up the distribution of internal communications such as newsletters, email campaigns and social media to help keep workers motivated and engaged. Internal communications tools can be used to reinforce messages employees already know about, such as fringe benefits, especially during tough economic times. This is especially true if workers aren’t utilizing these benefits or aren’t familiar with how to access them. For example, does your business offer flextime, tuition assistance, a gym or an onsite daycare facility for parents? If your company offers unique employee benefits like this, create fresh newsletters, email campaigns and posts on social media that may remind employees that these special programs and perks exist.
Encourage creativity – Creativity and the ability to foster an environment where a company is willing to try new ideas, is crucial to the longevity of any organization. Offer a chance to have brainstorming sessions and make these sessions a part of the company’s regular schedule. Give employees a chance to describe what’s working and what’s not working and ways to fix it. Encourage openness, set a positive tone and create a culture of inclusiveness by suggesting all ideas are welcome. Post a picture of your team’s brainstorming session on social and make a comment regarding the value of collaboration and teamwork in your organization.
Diversity & Inclusion – In 2021, Global Industry Analysts Inc., (GIA) released a report entitled “Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) – Global Market Trajectory & Analytics” stating that the global market for Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) was estimated at U.S. $7.5 billion in the year 2020, and is projected to reach a revised size of U.S. $15.4 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 12.6% over the analysis period. This tells us that the amount of dollars being spent on diversity and inclusion is growing – and it’s a good investment. Fostering a workplace based on inclusion while preventing a workplace of exclusion not only increases work performance, it also increases a company’s chances of recruiting top talent, allows a company to become more innovative, customers and clients pay attention to diversity efforts and as such, it enhances a company’s overall brand.
In summary, know who you are. Communicate that brand consistently across all channels. Be authentic and open. Remember that existing employees are also part of your audience when communicating culture and include messages that speak to them. Most importantly, if you don’t have a great culture to communicate, work on improving it. The bottom line will be positively impacted by your efforts.