How Fleshing Out Your Company Culture Can Make You More Appealing to 73% More Job Seekers

Company culture is a term you constantly hear thrown around these days. So much so, that it can feel a little diluted at times. But the fact of the matter is that company culture is incredibly important and impacts a multitude of different aspects of your business. 

Some are more obvious like philosophy, mission, and overall management style. But some areas are more subtle, with recruiting being a prime example. In this post, I’ll explain why having a fully developed company culture is vital in our current recruiting landscape and offer strategies on how to go about doing so. 

A Fascinating Data Point

In G2’s list of 62 recruitment statistics, they provided some interesting data regarding company culture and recruiting that caught my eye. The main stat I want to point out was that “73% of job seekers won’t apply to a company unless that company’s values align with their own.”

In other words, nearly three out of four prospective salespeople will pass on your company if you’re not on the same page in terms of company culture. And it’s understandable. Given the high level of competition there is and the current talent shortages, it’s a candidate’s market — not a recruiter’s. 

With so many options available for elite candidates, most don’t want to work for a company that’s not a cultural fit. And I can’t say I blame them. It’s like trying to force a square peg in a round hole, and savvy candidates know that friction will likely arise if they work for the wrong company. That’s why they’re so selective about who they apply with.  

Further Compelling Data

But there’s more. G2 also notes that “93% of employees mention company culture in reviews on Glassdoor, indicating just how important it is to them.” This illustrates even further how big of a deal company culture is, as it’s one of the most commonly discussed areas when employees leave reviews. 

Beyond that, data suggests that company culture is especially big with younger candidates. In fact, “65% of millennials value company culture compared to 52% of people 45 and older.” So, if you’re specifically targeting the younger demographic with your sales recruiting, this will especially be of interest to you. As more baby boomers and Gen Xers phase out of the workplace, having a fully developed company culture will become even more important for winning over top young talent.  

Now What?

At this point, we’ve established just how important company culture is from a recruiting standpoint. But what exactly does this mean you should do about it?

It’s simple. Take the time to completely develop your culture if you haven’t done so already. While there is a myriad of factors that contribute to culture, this graph highlights the core hard and soft elements. 

Hard elements include:

  • Strategy where you determine your game plan for addressing current and future challenges
  • Structure where you decide how work is divided, which teams handle which tasks, and how different teams communicate and collaborate with one another
  • Systems that make up both formal and informal processes

Soft elements include:

  • Values and philosophy which include norms and overall management style 
  • Staff which includes employee development, how you go about giving feedback and accepting input, and how you evaluate employee performance
  • Skills which are the core competencies that make your company strong and stand out from the competition
  • Shared values which are the set of beliefs your business prescribes to 

Like most companies, these are all things you’ve likely given some thought to. However, you may not have given each element the level of attention it truly deserves. Following this template is a good starting point and should ensure you cover all the bases. 

Beyond that, I suggest looking at a couple of guides that really go into great detail on creating a company culture and optimizing it. The Company Culture Code Template from HubSpot is one I highly recommend. It walks you through the process step-by-step and offers an actionable game plan for getting the absolute most from your company culture. Note that you have to sign up to HubSpot’s email list to access it, but it’s completely free. 

The other resource is A Guide to Organizational Culture by Gallup. Here’s what it covers. 

This guide has an easy-to-follow format that helps you better understand company culture, fix minor issues before they become major problems, and ultimately build your ideal culture. 

Attracting More High Caliber Job Seekers

Most businesses know that company culture is important from a general operations standpoint. But I don’t think everyone fully understands the connection between culture and recruiting. 

With nearly three-quarters of job seekers saying they won’t apply with a company if it’s not a good cultural fit, this shows firsthand how essential it is to 1) properly develop your culture and 2) refine it so you’re a top contender in your industry. Doing so should give your company a significant recruiting edge and help you stand out in today’s saturated market. 

Looking to hire ultra-qualified salespeople faster? See how HireDNA can help by sourcing top talent, using intelligent matching, and implementing science-based assessments. 92% of candidates suggested reach the top of their sales force within the first year!

Use This Hiring Strategy to Increase Salesperson Retention By 41%

Salesperson retention has historically been a pain point for many companies. But the issue has been exacerbated recently due to the impact of COVID and widespread talent shortages

With retention rates hitting a record low in 2020 and 87% of HR experts considering retention to be one of today’s top priorities, it’s definitely an area most companies will want to address head on. The question is, exactly how should you go about it?

While there are a wide array of tactics that can be used, here’s one particular strategy that can increase salesperson retention by a staggering 41%. 

Drumroll…Hire Internally 

According to research, pound for pound the number one thing you can do is take strong initiatives to hire internally. A study from LinkedIn found that creating a culture of internal mobility is often the best way to keep your top talent around for the long haul. 

“Our data shows that employees stay 41% longer at companies that hire internally compared to those that don’t,” explains Mark Lobosco, vice president of talent solutions at LinkedIn. “As companies continue to experience the benefits of internal mobility, we’ll begin to see it shift from an ad hoc solution to an essential corporate strategy.” 

To add a bit of context, this quote was taken from an article about 2021 recruiting trends where experts gave predictions on the direction they believed businesses will take post-pandemic. And I think he really hit the nail on the head. The numbers speak for themselves, with salespeople staying, on average, 41% longer when given a chance to move up the company ladder. But what I found really interesting is that we’re seeing a new mindset where businesses no longer do this on an ad hoc basis out of necessity, but strategically make this part of their overall recruitment strategy. 

And it totally makes sense. Given the current recruiting landscape where high level reps are at a premium, we can see why a growing number of companies want to recruit from within and build a framework that positions salespeople to grow. “This will lead to HR and L&D partnering closer than ever before to better understand existing skill sets, address skill gaps in their organization and build more robust internal mobility programs,” Lobosco adds. 

Unpacking This Trend Further

Generally speaking, there’s a correlation between length of time at a job and lower retention. This graph shows that one year after being hired, a salesperson has a 76% chance of still working for the company. But that likelihood steadily drops, until after three years, they have just under a 50% chance of remaining, and after five years, it’s only 38%. 

That’s bad news if you’re trying to build a tight, cohesive team of sales rock stars because, based on these figures, barely over a third will still be with you after five years. If, however, you focus on internal mobility, your chance of having a solid team increases considerably. For example, LinkedIn states that “employees who were promoted within three years of being hired have a 70% chance of staying on board,” while “those who were not promoted and who did not change jobs internally only have a 45% chance of remaining.” 

By examining this data, there’s no denying that internal promotion boosts retention — and it does so by a significant margin. So if your company has been plagued by chronic turnover or has suffered from the backlash of talent shortages, I suggest making this a key strategy moving forward. While it’s not always realistic to promote every single rep — especially the mediocre performers — it’s certainly worth the effort to give top talent advancement opportunities. 

One Last Important Point

You probably have a general idea of why internal promotion increases salesperson retention. Reps are naturally more likely to stick around for longer when they know there’s the opportunity for career advancement. That’s pretty obvious. 

But is there anything else to it? It turns out there is. 

Roy Mauer, online manager/editor of SHRM mentions that employee empowerment also factors into the equation. “Employees also stay longer at organizations perceived to be places where workers have influence,” he writes. “After three years at one of those employers, there’s a 47% chance of retention, while employees at companies viewed as less empowering only have a 35% chance of still being there after three years.”

The takeaway here is that salespeople like to feel they genuinely have a level of control over their own destiny. Otherwise, it’s easy for them to become disengaged, where they, in turn, are more likely to explore other career opportunities. 

In terms of specific ways to empower employees, here are a few ideas:

  • Create a continual communication loop where you provide them with feedback and encourage them to share their feedback with you
  • Keep them in the know on future plans
  • Always be willing to listen their ideas
  • Double down on employee recognition

Here’s a helpful diagram for more guidance. 

Thriving in a Turbulent Recruiting Climate

Sales recruiters have their work cut for them. The combination of COVID, talent shortages, and record low retention have created some real difficulties. But it’s by no means an issue that can’t be overcome with the right strategy. 

Establishing a culture of internal mobility where you hire from within whenever possible can have a dramatic impact on salesperson retention and increase it by as much as 41%. This along with empowering reps should ensure you maintain a strong, highly skilled team that’s poised to thrive no matter what happens. 

Looking to fill your talent pipeline with A+ salespeople right away? See how HireDNA can help by using intelligent matching and science-based assessments to slash your hire time in half.