Why Do Companies Conceal Culture From Talent?

image2-682x1024What would happen if companies spent a fraction of the energy used developing consumer facing brand culture on communicating their company culture to potential talent? Earlier this week I mused on the growing trend of millennials taking a more strategic approach to finding a proper fit within the industry. Millennials are certainly not the only demographic who desires a company’s transparency concerning culture. If industry leadership truly believes that talent is driving their success why is there not more dedication to communicating a company’s culture? There has been improvement over the years. Most career pages offer at least a paragraph or two highlighting company history, facilities and at least a keyhole view of their personality. Sometimes these summaries feel more like advertorials than an autobiography.

What if there was more? I’ve yet to meet an HR professional who wasn’t able to quickly and effectively communicate with some enthusiasm the climate of their culture. Honestly share the type of candidates who are typically successful and why people like to work with their team. Why then, is this valuable information left to talent acquisition and HR to communicate on an individual basis? The overwhelming majority of industry talent is curious. Tell us about your corporate vibe, work-life balance, leadership training, career opportunities both laterally and advancement. Transparency goes a long way in building trust with potential talent as well as preventing future misfits. Tell us about your challenges. Why wouldn’t someone be successful with your company? Is the fear that being more specific will scare off talent? Maybe it shouldn’t be. Maybe we should stop being so apologetic, attempting to appeal to the masses and directly target the types of talent we really want. Isn’t this the strategy most brands use when marketing to their consumers? Why is it any different with talent?

If brands communicated their internal culture from a human perspective with a certain level of substance and detail would you be more or less likely to make an informed decision before wasting both parties time? How many hours would this save both sides of the interview desk, ultimately impacting the bottom line while preserving a company’s reputation?

I realize I’m asking a lot of questions here while not offering nearly as many, if any solutions. While I have a few thoughts on the subject I’ll save those for next time. One thing is clear,  is not on the decline anytime soon. What we do with that insight is the real question.


Photo Credit: Refinery 29