How can employers build workplace cultures that attract candidates?
While compensation and benefits are important, job seekers are now doing more due diligence to determine whether a company has a healthy workplace culture. Candidates are looking for more meaning in their work and want to know that their future employer has strong leadership, a clear mission and purpose, and an environment where there are opportunities for employees to develop and thrive.
We asked recruiters from Robert Half’s legal practice group to share their thoughts on how employers can create winning workplace cultures. From being transparent about salary and benefits to establishing a company culture that aligns with people’s values, here are 11 strategies they recommend:
- Be transparent about salary and benefits
- Be creative
- Use video calls to build community in a remote world
- Share company values early in the interview process
- Improve the interview process by cutting the number of rounds
- Offer remote flexibility
- Show your employees you value them
- Acknowledge the increasing demand for work-life balance
- Tell the story of why current employees choose to stay
- Compensate employees fairly
- Create a workplace culture that aligns with people’s values
1. Be transparent about salary and benefits
In today’s competitive environment, transparency around salary and benefits can go a long way. Providing a salary range and highlighting benefits can help build confidence in attracting the right candidate for the role. A spirit of transparency can also foster a trusting environment and save time for both the candidate and the employer.
As both tenured professionals and recent graduates enter the job market, providing this key information sets the right tone for a positive workplace culture that values the empowerment of its people.
Aisha U-Kiu, vice president, legal practice director, Dallas, Texas
2. Be creative
The one thing employers can do to build a strong workplace culture that not only attracts talented professionals but also retains excellent employees is to be creative!
I have worked with many employers this past year to individualize new hire offers to meet exactly what the candidate needs to be successful. If a candidate needs to drop their kids off in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon, we have crafted in-office hours in conjunction with remote work hours to supplement this schedule.
Additionally, candidates have multiple offers right now so offering a sign-on bonus is an innovative way of telling the candidate that you value them even before they accept your job offer. Crafting a solid, individualized job offer from the very beginning will help you stand apart from the crowd and set the stage for a strong workplace culture from the start!
Megan Usovsky, recruiting manager, St. Louis, Mo.
3. Use video calls to build community in a remote world
Aside from flexibility, when you ask an employee why they have been with their employer for over 10 years, many will reply, “The people.” Building a workplace culture of community where people are in a remote or hybrid work environment can be challenging. However, having meaningful conversations outside of email and instant messaging is vital to building company culture.
I recommend that most employee interactions take place via video calls. One attorney I placed liked strategizing about her cases, which can be difficult to achieve in a remote environment. Her team uses video to communicate about their case strategy, which is beneficial for all involved. Often, communication and tone are misconstrued over email or chat messages. Live conversations with colleagues can help foster a community of closeness, where employees want to stay because they feel connected to one another.
Samantha Graham, director of permanent placement, Los Angeles, Calif.
4. Share company values early in the interview process
It’s important for job seekers to learn what a company stands for and what values lend toward that mission. The leadership team should also share these principles with all employees regularly, especially those involved in hiring. The dialogue and action that follow help the mission become a reality and part of the day-to-day work style for employees.
Paired with an organized and streamlined recruitment process, the company culture becomes apparent to the interviewee from the application process to all the interactions along the way. It helps the interviewee form a more genuine connection with the potential company and its people, which ideally keeps growing as that interviewee finds a place to call “home.”
Payal Patel, director of business development, Atlanta, Ga.
5. Improve the interview process by cutting the number of rounds
Talking to job seekers, they are always surprised at the speed at which we are able to get them in front of great job opportunities compared to their own applications. Hiring managers should focus on improving the interview process by cutting down on rounds of interviews to attract top talent.
With candidates receiving multiple job offers in this competitive market, it’s important to move efficiently through the interview process to ensure candidates feel wanted and stay excited so they will accept your offer!
Sam Sheehan, practice director, Seattle, Wash.
6. Offer remote flexibility
According to research for the 2023 Salary Guide From Robert Half, more than 4 in 10 senior managers (41%) said some employees have quit their jobs rather than return to the office full time. I interview numerous candidates per week and the majority are requiring work-from-home flexibility to consider a new role.
Flexible work options are now a must to build a workplace culture that will help attract and hire the right people fast. These options have become a key differentiator for companies when recruiting, giving employers access to larger candidate pools. It is something hiring managers need to embrace in the future.
Dominick Fitzgerald, senior recruiting manager and assistant vice president, Chicago, Ill.
7. Show your employees you value them
The most important thing employers can do to build a workplace culture where others will want to work is to show employees that they care about and value them!
Employers must recognize that their employees don’t have to work there — they choose to work there. This is especially true in the current, candidate-driven employment market where it’s becoming increasingly challenging to identify strong talent. Showing employee appreciation on a regular basis should be top of mind.
At the end of the day, all industry communities are small, even in big cities. By valuing employee appreciation, word will spread and others will take notice. As a result, law firms and companies will be a step above their competitors and will naturally attract others to want to work there.
Anne-Laure McGrory, vice president, senior recruiting manager, Washington, D.C.
8. Acknowledge the increasing demand for work-life balance
Employers can build a workplace culture that will help attract and hire the right people for the right roles faster by acknowledging the increasing demand for work-life balance. We continue to see that candidates are willing to forgo higher pay for the ability to work from home.
If a job doesn’t require an employee to be on-site for the work to get done, employers should strongly consider remote or at least hybrid options. This will open the candidate pool to contenders with stronger skill sets, and ultimately, a faster placement.
Amy-Katherine Turner, practice director, Chicago, Ill.
9. Tell the story of why current employees choose to stay
Many organizations say that their people are their greatest asset. It’s important for organizations to be in tune with what is most important to their people. I see many companies focus on highlighting their brand and its impact while doing very little to share the stories and voices of the people who make it all possible.
Telling these stories internally and externally helps not only with recruiting but also retention. “Stay interviews” are a great, cost-effective starting point for organizations to understand what truly matters to their employees, pinpoint specific areas to enhance and identify opportunities. The most compelling way to attract talent is to tell the story of why your people choose to stay.
Peter Yo, branch director, Los Angeles, Calif.
10. Compensate employees fairly
The best thing that employers can do is to compensate their employees at fair market value and offer remote and flexible work options. Salaries have changed considerably, as have the prices for everything that we purchase today. Consumers are spending more for housing, food and gas — top talent in the marketplace is no exception. Staying abreast of market conditions is paramount for employee recruiting and retention.
Claire Marshall, vice president, permanent placement legal division, Chicago, Ill.
11. Create a workplace culture that aligns with people’s values
Employers that show a positive company culture will attract top talent. In our recruitment process, we notice that prospective employees value the importance of company culture. A positive workplace culture attracts the right people for the right roles, and faster, as candidates are looking for more than a large salary.
One thing that employers can do is build a workplace culture that promotes the company’s values. Candidates are seeking to work for organizations whose values align with their own so they can work together on a common mission of purpose and success.
Daniella Nolasco, practice director, Seattle, Wash.
Robert Half recruiters (top row, from left): Daniella Nolasco, Payal Patel, Amy-Katherine Turner and Sam Sheehan; (middle row, from left): Dominick Fitzgerald, Samantha Graham, Peter Yo and Claire Marshall; (bottom row, from left): Megan Usovsky, Aisha U-Kiu and Anne-Laure McGrory.
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