April 23rd, 2024 | Sterling

The 2024 HR Roadmap – Organisational Culture & Candidate Experience

In this 2nd article of our 2024 HR Roadmap series that delves into eight key trends shaping HR and recruitment this year, we look at the increasing importance of culture and candidate experience in recruitment and how organisations can embrace these changes in 2024.

2.1 | Organisational Culture in Focus

Organisational culture has in recent years evolved to become a pivotal factor influencing hiring decisions and overall business success. Harvard Business Review claims “organisational culture is a remarkable competitive advantage” and this is evidenced by research conducted by McKinsey, where it was found that companies with “top-quartile cultures post a return to shareholders 60 percent higher than median companies and 200 percent higher than those in the bottom quartile.”

The workforce demographic is also undergoing a noticeable shift towards valuing workplace satisfaction and a sense of belonging. Research by Deloitte showed that fostering a sense of belonging is good for staff and for the business too – leading to a 56% increase in job performance, 50% reduction in turnover risk, and a 167% increase in net promoter score. Gallup research also identified that companies that cultivate a strong and positive culture are more likely to attract top candidates.

Developing a strong organisational culture will therefore be an important priority for HR teams throughout 2024. HR professionals play an important role in creating a workplace where employees feel valued and engaged by championing values, promoting inclusivity, and providing opportunities for professional development (see also: Forbes: “13 ways HR can help build a sustainable company culture”).

But these activities will take time and resources – hence outsourcing routine HR functions, such as background screening, can free up HR teams to allocate more time and energy to the strategic and cultural aspects of their roles. For example, outsourcing background screening to trusted partners not only enhances operational efficiency but also minimises the risk of internal bias in the recruitment process, allowing HR professionals to instead focus on shaping a positive workplace culture resonating with the organisation’s values.

As organisation are now starting to move away from manual screening, to reduce administrative work from  the talent team’s workload, the shift to working with vendors, especially for screening and payroll, often has a positive impact on the talent team’s productivity and talent retention activities.

“At Sterling, our culture is key to our success as a virtual-first organisation. We strongly believe in fostering trust and safety, we create a space where employees are comfortable being their authentic selves, challenging the status quo, sharing ideas, and collaborating effectively – even across distances. This open communication is essential for innovation and high performance. Just like in a  physical workplace, a strong virtual culture keeps us connected and thriving”

Steve Smith, President

2.2 | Candidate Experience Matters Too

Sharing an organisation’s culture is now vital in recruitment, with evidence of a strong work culture often being of great appeal to job candidates, particularly when seeking permanent positions with opportunity to grow a long-term career. In addition, the candidate experience has also in recent times evolved from being a mere consideration to a crucial cornerstone defining the success of the hiring process. In short, a great candidate experience reflects the organisation’s values, professionalism, and commitment to fostering a positive work environment.

As per LinkedIn’s Talent Blog, “…a positive candidate experience can help you convert your top-choice candidates into employees, while a poor candidate experience can cause them to drop out of your hiring process altogether.”  

And it appears that many organisations may have room to further optimize the candidate experience. According to a 2021 report by Michael Page Malaysia, nine out of ten people reported experiencing frustrating interview and recruitment processes, and more than half of them stated that these dissatisfactions would affect their decision to accept a job offer.  

Background screening is an essential component of the hiring process that helps to ensure the integrity of the workforce, but it can also impact how candidates perceive the overall recruitment process, and by extension, the organisation. The seamless integration of background screening into the hiring process is therefore beneficial in crafting a positive experience for candidates.

Organisations can achieve this by working with experienced screening providers, such as Sterling, to better understand which checks are essential, such as right to work checks or identity verification, to onboard new staff as quickly as possible before. Secondary checks that may be required, such as employment checks or educational verification can be completed on a later scheduled. This prioritisation ensures that the recruitment process is as efficient as possible for both hiring teams and candidates, whilst continuing to meet compliance requirements.

The choice of a suitable background screening partner is crucial. Working with an experienced and global screening partner offering tailored screening programs and understanding local laws and regulations ensures organisations remain competitive in the hiring race to secure top talent globally.

Read part 1 here where we touched on digital identity and fraud as organisations moves towards build a global workforce.

Join us for part 3 of our “HR Roadmap” blog series, that touches on the role of culture and candidate experience in the 2020s.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.