Growing a company is no easy feat, and you need top talent on your team to succeed. The industry has realised this need; in the last 10 years, U.S. recruiting has grown by over 50%, and recruitment is estimated to be a $400 billion industry, worldwide. This, paired with an increased number of job opportunities, has created a generation of top talent that is harder to attract.

A recent survey conducted by hibob indicates that 41% of the working population in the UK have rejected a job offer because they didn’t feel like the company culture was the right fit. Getting company culture right is imperative to attracting top talent. 

How do we create a fantastic company culture to attract top talent?

1. Get everyone to speak up!

Creating an environment where everyone is comfortable with sharing ideas is essential to building a culturally appealing work environment. A lot of the time, new hires believe that they aren’t able to provide helpful input to the company because they don’t yet know enough. New employees are actually a priceless resource for understanding ways to improve that might not be as obvious to long term employees.

Managers should always ask for feedback

Encourage anyone and everyone to speak up when they have an idea or think something needs to change, and really listen to their feedback. Initially, it might be helpful to hold weekly meetings between managers and employees to ask “How can we be better?”

Talk about failure

Another important aspect of gaining trust amongst employees is letting them know that it’s ok for them to screw up. This encourages your people to become more innovative in their jobs, less stressed, and more productive. IBM is an amazing example of how a willingness to experiment and accept failure created a billion-dollar business in three years.

Creating a culture where communication is encouraged from the start and making sure a candidate knows that they will immediately be heard in an organisation can be a game changer for them.

2. Invite candidates to participate in a project even before they join

In behavioural economics, the endowment effect is the hypothesis that people ascribe more value to things merely because they own them. Creating ownership around projects for individual employees allows them to feel like they are playing an important role in the mission of the company. Their name is attached to the success or failure of the project, and they are motivated to do a good job because of this. 

The endowment effect exists even with something as simple as a mug!

mug experiment

Additionally, Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends Report predicts that the organisation of the future structure will be based on work and projects, as opposed to business function and functional leaders. There are several organisations that are already structuring teams in this way, by moving from departments to ‘cells.’

Take a forward-looking approach by providing a job offer to potential candidates that include the projects they would be taking on, and they will already feel a sense of ownership of them.

3. Don’t be stingy with compliments

Sterling Livingston’s Pygmalion in Management offers some insight on how manager’s perception of employees affects their productivity. If they are convinced that the people in their group are first-rate, they’ll reliably outperform a group whose manager believes the reverse – even if the innate talent of the two groups is similar. Creating positive expectations for employees in the first year will undoubtedly lead to their success; even the smallest of compliments instill confidence. Research has also shown that compliments prove to be the very best motivator for workers, not money.

You can become a company that is known as a great place to work by understanding the importance of recognition, and that: 

“Individuals are never merely “hired hands” but bring along their heads and hearts: they enter the organization with individually shaped ideas, expectations, and agendas, and they bring with them distinctive values, interests, sentiments and abilities”

— W Richard Scott and ‎Gerald F. Davis

To sum it all up

How do you think google got to be one of the best places to work? Yes… I’m sure you’re dreaming of the unlimited amount of free food and massages offered to their employees, but the real answer lies in their strategic approach to tuning into their people. My point is that we don’t have to be large organisations with an unlimited amount of resources. All of us growing small and medium-sized business have the power to attract top talent if we are able to encourage communication, compliments, and ownership. 

From Danielle Mizrachi

Danielle is a Marketing Manager at Hibob. She studied Business and Psychology and believes in the power of utilising behavioral insights to form great companies. She enjoys discovering what the future of work might look like, listening to podcasts, traveling, and hiking.