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Client Advice

How important are company culture and values in attracting best-in-class candidates?

By Peter Wharton

Netflix has often reported that the reason for their successes driven by their strength of speed comes from the majority of their employees being aligned and so have collective strength. Between graduating from university and building a career in sales and marketing what seems like a zillion years ago I was a musician in London, and actually still play with bands so  Ihave 40 years of first hand experience of how well a team performs when everyone is in sync but the moment one or two no longer have the same culture and values, then it just falls apart. Just think Beatles and Oasis


However when everyone is aligned the speed of learning new songs is much quicker, but its also about trust and empowerment, giving confidence to execute, be creative and innovate and make big decisions as well as small ones.


It’s the same for business and especially for companies scaling up, it's 100 times more important.  You don’t get more than a couple  of chances to get it right.


Whatever size the company, defining, communicating and sustaining the core values is essential. It’s not an easy task, and can take time and enormous effort to define an implement but it is critical for short and long term success.  The key to a successful organization is to have a culture based on a strongly held and widely shared set of beliefs that are supported by strategy and structure. 


Defining company culture is important not only for staff retention but also for identifying the best talent that will make a difference when joining the company. As a recruiter its so much more effective to find the best-in-class and best-fit candidates when I understand what profile is required.


Another thing I see increasingly more often is that candidates need to understand a potential new employer’s values before accepting to leave their current role for a new company.  Truly great talent is scarce  and I have had very talented candidates drop out of the recruitment process if they are not convinced they identify with a company culture, especially if its values are not clear.  But candidates that understand, identify with and agree with a new potential new employers values will choose them over others, giving companies a competitive advantage in recruiting the best talent in their sector.



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