How to Use Your Corporate Culture as a Differentiator in Recruiting

Published on 6/19/2020 by Jimmy Hurff
Last Updated on 12/2/2022

Categories: Corporate CultureEmployer Branding

Corporate culture is a tricky thing. For starters, it’s a buzz word that’s thrown around quite a bit, in a few different ways.

👉A strong one is essential for recruiting top talent

👉You’ll never retain talent with a weak one

👉Your customers won’t buy if your corporate culture isn’t up to par

👉Your marketing should reflect your culture

And so on, so forth. Suffice it to say that your corporate culture impacts every facet of your business. And it’s something that must be consciously built and nurtured to remain strong. 

Of course, as a recruiting technology partner, we’re going to zero in on the impact of culture on recruiting. Even in an increasingly changing recruitment landscape, top talent is in demand -- and they’re putting your company under a microscope to see if there’s a fit. 

Are you proud of your corporate culture? Have you carefully curated a culture that is positive, supportive and desirable for talent? Here’s how you can leverage it as a differentiator in your recruiting:

Don’t just tell, show.

Top talent has heard it ALL when it comes to corporate culture. “We’re a fun office that cares about you!” and other lifeless, hollow statements can be found in nearly every job posting. It gets to the point where candidates automatically skip over those statements and assume that they’re false (or at least, mistakenly amplified). 

If you really want to put your culture in the spotlight when recruiting top talent, you need to show candidates that your culture is different. You can accomplish this in a few ways:

📽Treating them well throughout the hiring process

This is hugely important, and yet so many businesses focus on rhetoric rather than actions. If you treat talent poorly throughout the hiring process (eg. poor communication, a drawn-out process, etcetera), they’re going to assume you’ll treat them the same (or worse!) if they choose to work for you. 

📽Integrate internal videos into your social media strategy

You can show talent in the most literal form of the word that your corporate culture is different. Video has been shown to increase engagement on just about every social platform (just be sure to upload natively on each platform, rather than uploading to YouTube and simply pasting a link). Talk to your employees and encourage them to share stories about their work experience at your company. Record birthdays, volunteer work, parties, and other ways your team is strong. You don’t have to advertise these videos as “our culture is great!” Instead, simply make them a part of who you are online - showcase your culture in every sense of the word. When candidates are vetting your company (and they DO), they’ll be able to pick up on your strong culture, all on their own.

Ask for online reviews.

At least half of all candidates read online reviews from sites like Glassdoor. They matter. Yet, if you peek at some company profiles on Glassdoor, Facebook or Google, you’ll most often find negative reviews.

In some ways, this makes sense. No company has 100% satisfaction all the time. Employees don’t work out. People are let go. And they’re MAD. And where do we go when we’re mad? Online!

Give candidates credit, though. They’d probably be more suspicious if a company had only positive reviews. They expect to see some negatives on any site. 

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to increase the number of positive ones! Now, tread carefully here. You don’t want to seem like you’re ordering employees to leave positive reviews. But, you could frame the request very carefully (and you could even build this into your onboarding process). Here’s a sample email you might send, as an example:

Hi Team!

As you know, we’re working hard to grow our team to include more awesome people like you. Research shows that more than half of candidates look at online reviews (maybe you did), and we want candidates to read as many stories of life at [COMPANY] as possible.

That’s why I’m asking you to write a review on Glassdoor, Google or Facebook about [COMPANY]. It could be about the hiring process you went through before joining, or maybe it’s about the day-to-day of working here. Whatever you’d like to say, we’re simply asking that you take a few minutes (on company time!) to share your story here, authentically. 

As always, my door is open if you have any questions or feedback as well!


Change this as it suits your voice and culture, but you get the idea!

Build a strong referral program.

Great people know more great people. And if you’ve worked hard on your culture, sometimes it pays to add some extra incentive for your team to refer those great friends and former colleagues. 

A lot of companies built a standard referral program way back when. It’s been gathering dust, and may not be sending any referrals your way (let alone, good ones). 

Dust off that policy, then give it a massive update. If you’re not sure what to update, ask your employees. How would they like to be rewarded for bringing in another excellent member of the team? Look at the competition, look at leaders in your space (or any space), and see what they’re doing. 

Then, step it up and make those changes. Broadcast it to your team and spread the word. Make it fun and part of your culture itself. Imagine receiving a call or LinkedIn message from a former colleague that goes something like this:

Hi [NAME],

How have you been? I know we suffered through our time together at [COMPANY], but that’s why I’m writing now. I’m working at [YOUR COMPANY] now, and it is unbelievable how different it is! They actually value input and treat us like we matter. I love working on a collaborative team where my voice is heard, and everything has been great since I started. 

I know you’re top-notch at [SKILL] and they’re currently looking for someone with your background. If you’re interested, I’m happy to refer you. I really think you’d love it here!


Now, contrast that with the hope that top talent is looking for work and stumbles upon your job posting. Hopefully, they’ve seen the other stuff and maybe they’re impressed. There’s a lot of wishing there. Referrals will ALWAYS win there. 

Align your employer brand with your true culture. 

This is more of a reminder than anything. Marketing (including recruitment marketing) messages will fall flat if they are full of hot air. Your actual culture needs to align with your employer brand. When there’s a synergy between them, that’s when you start making connections and exceptional talent comes calling. 

But it may take some work (and an outside perspective) to look honestly at your culture and employer brands. Then to improve one or both if they’re falling short. Be willing to put in the work, and you’ll positively impact your recruiting not just in the near future, but for years to come. 

Do you have the right recruiting technology? 

Your ATS is the hub of your recruiting efforts. Yet, many businesses feel “stuck” with legacy platforms that cause, rather than solve, issues. Here at BrightMove, our team of recruiting experts built our platform to help you work faster and better, creating more positive candidate experiences and ultimately, getting better results. We do things differently, and it shows. We have a simple pricing model that is easy to navigate and scales with your business.  You may wish to check out our pricing faqs too.  See for yourself - schedule a demo with our team today

About the Author, Jimmy Hurff

Jimmy is a seasoned technology executive & entrepreneur noted for leading business transformations. Over his 25+ year career, Jimmy has developed multi-platform expertise in the domains of engineering, data analytics, security, compliance & business transformation. Starting in 1995, Jimmy worked with his best friend, David Webb, to develop one of the world's first Internet job board and resume bank applications. From then to now, Jimmy has been consistently helping his customers to build great teams, using best practices and world-class technology.

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