A friend recently went to a job interview and while she really liked the company, and thought the job description was a perfect match, there was a nagging feeling in the back of her mind that it might not be the best fit.
On paper everything looked great. She even got a package of materials; a brochure and other collateral that explained how empowering the company culture is using words like; healthy, balanced and secure. It was clear that this company valued their people and appeared to take culture seriously. According to their materials, everyone "works as a team", and always "pursues excellence".
I always bring it back to marketing, since that's my background. The industry was majorly disrupted about 8 years ago when social media took the world by storm, and the biggest reason was that companies all of the sudden had to be authentic. It wasn't enough to just say "this is who we are", you actually had to be what you said you were, and take action that made it clear to people you were serious about it. You couldn't hide behind the keyword of the month anymore. People could see through you.
While I think it's great that this company had taken the time to manifest their culture into some reading materials for their potential employees, I still think it falls short because in the end, that's the culture they aspire to be, the culture that someone in HR has probably defined, not a culture that's been co-created with the organization as a whole, and really, where's the proof?
Bringing employee engagement data to the interview
Since data has proliferated everywhere else, why not also during the interview process? What if your candidates started requesting engagement scores or the results of the last engagement survey? And why not be that transparent?
If you want culture to be a real differentiator, why not share with candidates what your scores look like, what the data says about your culture and about who you are as an organization? As more and more companies adopt best practices around measuring engagement and steering company culture, I think the expectation will grow on the employee and candidate side as well in terms of wanting to see data to back up everything they are "hearing" in their interviews and interactions with their potential new employer.
Not doing engagement surveys? Learn more about gaining metrics for your company culture and engagement.