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Company culture top priority for young workforce

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A mere 30% of employers clearly outline culture in all job adverts 

A recent survey conducted by emerging talent and reskill partner mthree has revealed that culture is the most important factor when deciding whether to accept a new role for half (50%) of 21–28-year olds in full-time employment, while another 41% said culture is one of their main considerations.  

The survey of 1,000 adults in full-time employment aged 21–28, suggested that publicising and promoting company culture should form a key part of the recruitment process.  

However, a separate survey by mthree of 500 senior business leaders revealed that businesses are failing to effectively capitalise on this opportunity, with one in 10 (10%) not promoting their company culture to potential new employees at all. 

Very few businesses divulge information about their culture in the early stages of recruitment: only 30% clearly outline culture in all job adverts and to all external recruiters, 37% have information available to read on the organisation’s website, 31% promote their culture via their social media profiles, and 24% regularly communicate information via the media.  

A slightly higher proportion (42%) explain company culture to prospective employees at interview, but only 34% say that information about the culture forms a key part of the onboarding process, and just 32% provide information to employees prior to their start date. 

With recent data from Ipsos revealing that, in the last three months, 29% of British workers have looked for another job, 26% have thought about quitting their job, 13% have applied for another job, and 6% have spoken to their employer about resigning, employers are feeling immense pressure to both source and retain employees. Yet, with many businesses failing to address candidate preferences, such as attitudes towards culture, many businesses could be missing vital opportunities to recruit and retain sought-after young talent. 

Notably, 70% of the young people surveyed by mthree said that they have regretted joining a business after discovering what its company culture was really like. Nearly a third (29%) have left a job within a year due to the culture not being as anticipated, and a quarter (26%) have left within six months. Another 26% have stayed in a job but been unhappy.  

Tom Seymour, Senior Director, HR at mthree, commented: “It’s clear from our research that effectively promoting company culture could help to attract potential employees, which is particularly important in the current unprecedently competitive recruitment landscape. However, we can also see that being up front and honest about an organisation’s culture can also help to ensure that the right candidate is chosen for a role, which will naturally help to improve retention.  

“Had these employees been given a more accurate picture of the organisation and its values from the outset, they may have decided not to accept the role, which could instead have gone to someone who was a better fit and would have been happy to stay for a longer period. Poor retention rates can be very costly, with high employee turnover most obviously driving up the recruitment and training expenses. However, it can also have a detrimental effect on company culture, which can have its own financial impact on a business.” 


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