How company culture affects your job adverts


Research in the field of online job advertisements for startups does not focus specifically on how job seekers respond when faced with information on organisational culture within a job listing.

However, writes Jesse Green, South African country manager for recruitment platform Adzuna, many research papers do show that more information is better for candidates, who are now having to spend more time applying than ever before, and hence would like to know upfront if they should.

Based on this alone, it would seem prudent to include as much information as possible about the company as well as the position in any online job advert. But few firms give solid information about how they do things within their company – in other words, advertising their company culture. Less than one per cent of all online job listings in South Africa on Adzuna showed any reference to the employer’s company culture at all.

This is in stark contrast to leading organisations such as Google who actively push their company culture as a major plus in attracting the right staff. Yes, read that again – the right staff. The fact remains that the more information given on an online job advert, the higher the quality of matches it brings.

If your firm runs on a “startup” culture, those not wanting to work in such an environment are weeded out right before they even apply, with smiles on both sides of the recruitment fence. The last thing a candidate wants to find out is that their “dream job” is in an environment they don’t like, sometimes only realising this after they have accepted and started the new job.

For some startup companies, writing job advertisements is actually the closest they have come to defining their company culture in words or on paper. Yet, as the famous saying goes: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Since culture is a strong determinant of both stickability of employees and enjoyment at work, this is best mentioned on each and every instance of a vacancy advertised in both online and offline media.

Marketing and recruitment divisions are collaborating more and more, especially in larger companies, and this is one place they need to work together. In startup firms, culture is often the main reason that employees work there as opposed to a bigger, more stable organisation.

Adding a description of a company’s culture is essential to any online job advert, especially for new firms. If you are an entrepreneur and your job ads don’t mention this yet, the time is right now – log in and edit immediately.


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Key players from Africa's startup and investment ecosystem post on issues close to their heart for Disrupt Africa.

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