Culture Is King: Why Young Professionals Choose Culture Over Cash

The age-old idiom Cash is King may be a thing of the past—at least for the younger generation of workers. Culture has now taken the reins. And in a job seekers’ economy, this group of professionals may have the lasting power to maintain this trend.

King of the Hill, Culture Over Cash

In LinkedIn’s Workplace Culture report, 86% of Millennials say they would consider talking a pay cut to accept a position at a company that has a mission and values that aligns with their own. The nine out of 10 young professionals who claim this vastly out shadow the 9%, or less than 1 in 10, of Baby Boomers who would do the same. This vast change between generational workers, though gradual, has come to a crux with the younger generations in the workplace. It is forcing a change in the way companies recruit and retain workers.

Glassdoor also found the same trend in younger generations. According to a survey, they found that 65% of Millennials value company culture more than a high income, and 73% of Glassdoor respondents wouldn’t apply for a position at a company unless its values aligned with their own.

Culture isn’t just affecting recruiting. It’s also affecting retention for companies. According to the Glassdoor survey, 74% of U.S. workers would leave their current employer if their current company’s culture begins to deteriorate. And while pay can help alleviate minor concerns an employee may have, it is no longer strong enough to cure issues in recruiting and retention.

Culture Can Be Affected by Several Factors

From ethical decisions to work-life balance to humanitarian efforts, there are several factors that contribute to a company’s culture, or the values and behaviors that shape its environment. Each set of values is unique to every organization. And in some ways, there is no specific “right or wrong” way of developing a culture. However, if one looks at the current trends of behaviors that contribute to a strong culture that has the power to recruit and retain, there are specific factors that an organization should be aware from a foundational perspective.

Job Flexibility

According to the 2019 Global Talent Trends report, 72% of professionals say workplace flexibility allowing employees to work when and where they choose is extremely important for the future of recruitment. Moreover, since 2016, there has been a 78% increase in job posts highlighting the phrase “workplace flexibility.”

Organizational Relationship Building

One of the strongest factors in culture that professionals look for is a sense of belonging. According to LinkedIn, the top factor (46%) that would cause an employee to stay at their current employer is having people at work they can be themselves around.

Maintaining Values and Culture

Recruiting and retaining talented employees is imperative to maintaining a competitive advantage in an organization. One strong behavioral sense woven into top cultures is the sense of pride and respect one has for their company, as well as their role within the organization. According to LinkedIn, 87% of workers say having pride in their organization matters. Moreover, what the company stands for matters as well—a top factor (46%) being whether or not the company has a positive impact on society.

Consider Constructing Culture for a Change

In today’s economy, North America is experiencing the lowest unemployment rate in generations, which translates into a talent shortage creating a strong level of “hiring power” for the job candidate. To maintain a competitive advantage, companies need to embrace the change in job market and adapt to the climate. Glassdoor’s chief economist Andrew Chamberlain put it this way: “Employers looking to boost recruiting and retention efforts should prioritize building strong company culture and value systems, amplifying the quality and visibility of their senior leadership teams and offering clear, exciting career opportunities to employees.”

As Millennials and Gen Z professionals become the largest group of workers in the workforce, the foundational structure of recruitment and retention is changing. If cash is no longer king, it’s time for businesses to hail “long-live” to the new job market monarch: culture.

How has the job market changed the way you retain and recruit? What are companies doing to focus on building strong cultures? Let us know in the comments section below!

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One Response to Culture Is King: Why Young Professionals Choose Culture Over Cash

  1. Diana February 4, 2020 at 8:00 am #

    Having a boss who is fair and doesn’t “yell” at people is key. Sure my coworkers may be the salt of the earth, but if I have a boss who yells at me for no reason just because they enjoy the pressure relief now and then, I’ll be looking for another job. Most work situations can be handled without anger or yelling. Bosses who lack emotional IQ and display their angry frustration by taking it out on employees are soon to be a thing of the past and good riddance to them. Current boss has a high EQ, and it’s great for everyone. Last boss, whew, I got out as soon as I could after she began using me to get her “I enjoy yelling” fix. Everyone thought she was crazy and called her the dragon lady. I had seen her do it to others, and when it became my turn, as soon as I found an opportunity, I got out.

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