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Candidates Say Company Values Are Most Important Content

2022 CandE Report Takeaway #3.

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Jan 26, 2023
This article is part of a series called 2022 CandE Report Takeaways.

Roughly half (48%) of all North American job seekers said that content related to company values was the most important type of employer content they looked for when researching jobs in 2022, according to Talent Board’s latest candidate experience benchmark research.

Values-related content rose in importance an incredible 109% from 2021.

With those stats in mind, employers, you should be asking some very serious questions. For instance: Are your values clearly showcased in your job descriptions, Careers site, and other employer marketing materials? Are you telling candidates how the work they’ll do ties directly to your values? Are you sharing real-life stories of your values in action in your business, your workplace, and your communities?

If the answer to any of those questions is no, it’s almost certainly costing your company great talent. The kind of talent who would be delighted to work for you. The kind of talent who would find meaning and purpose in their work and who would outperform your expectations. The kind of talent who would stay with your company beyond a few months or a year.

In other words, the kind of talent every employer dreams of.

In Search of Connection

Candidates’ intense interest in company values isn’t new or surprising. It’s actually part of a larger trend that Talent Board has reported on over the past several years and a major factor behind The Great Reshuffling of America’s workforce: growing numbers of people are seeking stronger connections to their work and their employers — and they’re actually quitting or planning to quit their current jobs to find it.

Fewer people are willing to work at a job they consider meaningless or for a company whose values don’t reflect their own. As research from Great Place To Work indicates, when people actually do connect meaningfully to their work and their employer, the outcomes are astounding. “They’re loyal, engaged, and proud of their company,” the researchers note, which causes, “retention, employee well-being, and stock market returns (to) improve.”

Talent Board’s own research over the past decade has repeatedly shown how job seekers try to find this meaningful connection right from the start of their investigation into potential employers and jobs. Specifically, they look at a company’s employer brand assets for three things: 1) a clear understanding of the company’s culture; 2) insight into its employee experience; and 3) a sense of connection with the overall brand.

What’s striking about that list is the fact that job-related information isn’t on it.

Even if a job ad is what initially catches their attention, they skip over the details of the job to get to other information first. Information such as: What kind of company is this? What are its values and mission? What’s the culture like? How does it treat its employees, and what do they have to say about their work and the company? Today’s candidates understand that a particular job won’t be a good fit (even if they’re perfectly qualified) if the company isn’t a good fit.

This makes it imperative for employers to be more transparent about their employee experience and share real insights into their company’s values, culture, and people policies — all of the things that make it possible for qualified candidates to thrive at an organization as opposed to just “doing a job.”

In addition to information about values, nearly one-third of the candidates in our 2022 research said they want more information about company culture. Culture is as important as compensation if not more so, according to data from other researchers.

When it comes to showcasing company culture, employers should focus on what makes their organizations unique, the opportunities for growth and advancement they provide to employees, how their people find meaning in their work, how the company is making measurable progress on diversity and inclusion (27% of the candidates we surveyed in 2022 wanted more DE&I information), and why people want to work for their company (27% of candidates want more information about this as well).

Be sure to download our 2022 benchmark research report here. It’s filled with lots of other insights into recruiting success and what your company can do to raise the bar on its candidate experiences. I’ll share another of the report’s Top 10 Takeaways soon.

Be safe and well.

This article is part of a series called 2022 CandE Report Takeaways.
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