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70% of UK workers say evidence of a good company culture is important

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64% of candidates say that poor communication post-interview makes them less likely to accept a job offer

Data from research published by Breathe, HR software provider for SMEs has revealed interesting shifts in mindset amongst different workforce generations. Company culture is a top priority when job hunting, particularly amongst the younger generation of 18 – 34-year-olds, who are more likely to consider this than those aged 55 and over. It also uncovered people are focused on protecting themselves against burnout, with an overwhelming 81% stating they would not apply for a role that had unrealistic expectations. The younger generation of workers value strong communication, with 78% saying they would be put off a job listing that didn’t include salary expectations. Interestingly, 74% of over 55-year-olds cited no salary listing as an issue.

Key findings included:
Company culture a top priority

  • Workers aged 18 – 34 are more likely to consider company culture – 86%
    – Compared to those working aged 55 and over – only 66%
  • Interestingly, 18 – 34-year-old workers are more likely to ask about company culture in an interview than workers over 55
    – 81% vs 57%
  • 70% of UK workers say evidence of a good company culture is important when thinking about looking for another role
    – 83% say flexible working – a response to working habits formed during the pandemic
    – Interestingly, nearly a quarter of workers (24%) said that career development opportunities are not as important to them
  • Over three quarters of UK workers (76%) say they consider company culture to some degree when choosing where to work
    – 13% say it is the top factor for them
    – 41% say it is a key factor they consider

Lack of communication is a big turn off

  • A lack of communication post-interview was the top factor from an interview that would make workers less likely to accept any job offer from a company (64%). This was followed by:
    – Overly selling the company in the interview (57%)
    – Not meeting the people you would work with (51%)
  • 78% of 18 – 34-year-olds would be put off by a job listing that didn’t include a salary
    – Compared to 74% of over 55-year-olds

Protecting against burnout

  • An overwhelming 81% say they would not want to apply for a role if it had a job description with unrealistic expectation
    – This is followed by having no salary listed (77%) and non-specific descriptions of the role (75%)
  • 53% say they would be less likely/never would apply for a role that didn’t mention company culture

Rachel King, UK General Manager at Breathe, commented: “It’s no secret that company culture hasn’t always been a top priority when looking for a new job. Yet, following the pandemic and with hybrid and flexible working now the norm, more and more interviewees are placing emphasis on the type of workplace culture they want to be a part of.

“Our research found that the next generation of employees is entering the workforce with different expectations. Following a gruelling past few years they want to manage burnout with realistic job expectations and work for businesses that have a positive company culture – two areas which have not traditionally been priorities for previous generations.

“It’s more important than ever for SMEs to stay competitive in a candidate-led job market. They need to ensure they are supporting the needs of new people entering the business and fostering a strong company culture to attract and retain the best talent possible.”

Lizzie Benton, Company Culture Coach and Founder at Liberty Mind also made comment: “It’s becoming clear that getting paid every month is no longer the only draw to working. People want more from work than just a fair wage. Now more than ever people are seeking opportunities that provide a work-life balance and an enjoyable working environment.

“That’s why it’s up to businesses to build a culture that truly puts people-first in order to create the best workplaces possible. There are many simple, actionable steps that can be taken by SMEs to ensure they foster the right culture from the get-go. It’s never too late to start.”


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