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What's in the Article

  • What attracts employees to companies in today's day and age
  • How to leverage company culture to hire better

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In the not too distant past, paying a decent salary and offering some benefits was sufficient to attract new employees. Things have changed.

Financial considerations are only a piece of the puzzle now. High quality talent wants more from their jobs than just a paycheck. They want job satisfaction, a mission they can get behind, and a sense of pride in what they are doing.

Having a strong corporate culture can mean the difference between hiring a ‘get the job done’ vs. a ‘what else can I do’ employee.

Corporate culture has become a business accelerant. Companies with a strong culture naturally get more and better applicants. This is true whether you are Facebook or a family-owned chemical company that’s 3 generations old.

So, let’s use that generic chemical company as an example.

As one of the least sexy industries, chemical companies have a reputation as being dated, often generational, traditionally formal work environments. Chemical companies have received a beating in the media in recent years for their environmental impact. How do they get around this?

The key is to use culture to attract employees…but there is a problem. Even if you offer equity incentives or have an office softball team or encourage telecommuting, letting job applicants know that can still seem daunting.

We hear this from our clients a lot (especially ones in the chemical industry). Communicating how your company is different to potential applicants, customers and the marketplace is an essential part of every marketer and hiring manager’s job.

So, the big question is, how do you leverage your flexible work schedule or your commitment to sustainability to attract the best employees? Here are three steps to leveraging corporate culture to hire better.

Step One: Assess What Makes Your Culture Attractive

Talk to new hires and see why they chose your company. Consult with HR about any new programs or upcoming events and initiatives. Involve department heads and discuss the softer side of the business. Identify your cultural strengths (and weaknesses) and capitalize on them.

Only once you understand why current employees value their job will you be able to effectively use culture to attract employees.

Step Two: Tease It Out, Publicly

If you want to use culture to attract employees, you need to make sure applicants KNOW about it.

  • Let your website tell your story. Is your careers page just a list of chemical engineer and operator job openings? Use it as an opportunity to intrigue and interest applicants. Have your career page scroll down to Include videos and features on the softer benefits of working at your company.
  • Show what you are all about. Include a link in your Careers section about your company’s mission. Acknowledge any common reservations that an applicant may have and address them. Do you have programs for employee ownership? Promote your passions and attract candidates with similar passions. Focus on both corporate and local-level initiatives that show your commitment to the community and larger impact.
  • Demonstrate your community efforts. Chemical companies have gotten some bad PR in the past – show why you are different. Do you prioritize environmental sustainability? Dedicate a section of your website to your cleaning process, your life cycle assessment programs or environmental programs. Film a video of a real employee who is working to ensure minimal environmental impact.
  • Preview an avenue for growth by highlighting potential career paths. Identify any current employees who have moved up through the company and include a short video testimonial about their career trajectory. For example, if Bob started as an entry-level night-shift maintenance technician and has taken some additional courses and moved up to facility manager – talk about it! Post a snapshot of important events in his career.
  • Show off the behind-the-scenes vibe. Include photos of employees, a calendar of internal events, community involvement, unique workplace highlights. Consider hiring a professional photographer to document what makes you different. Do you have an annual retreat? Share candid pics. Office birthday? Share a Story of blowing out the candles. Do you have corporate charities? Highlight your cause with a photo montage and start a mini-fundraiser
  • Treat your social media as an extension of your brand. Not everyone can be a Twitter superstar, but you don’t want to just retweet scientific articles either. Empower employees to engage on social media. If you set a new plant safety record, be proud of it! If you sponsor a local community event, let your booth worker share images directly to your account.

Step Three: Presell Your Company

Don’t wait to answer potential questions until the interview is underway. Once you have received job applications, don’t let them get away. This is especially important for companies with an extended hiring process.

  • Respond to quality job applicants with an email that directs them to a landing page all about your corporate culture. Include some ‘secret’ benefits of working at the company, for example Summer Fridays, continuing education or potential bonus opportunities.
  • Send them a “personalized” email from someone in the department they are applying to, talking about the intangible benefits of working at your company. Have different emails ready to go for Plant Engineer, Operator, Research, Safety, etc. so you can respond quickly.
  • Put them in touch with a trusted peer who can answer any questions they may have before they show up. The personal touch will show that your company is more than just a paycheck.

The more interest and excitement that you can build about your company before the interview, the more likely applicants will rank your job as their first choice.

Which makes it easier to hire your first choice.

Do you keep losing your best candidates to competitors? Find out how to build and promote a corporate culture that attracts the best employees in the industry, with a completely FREE consultation. Call CMDS today at 732-706-5555 or click here to get started.