Culture Counts: How Business Owners Can Use Culture to Improve Recruiting and Retention

Friday February 9th, 2024

Estimated time to read: 2 minutes, 45 seconds


Business owners know this adage far too well—a company will only go as far as its talent can take it. While that truism is timeless, the talent landscape has changed. 

First, let’s start with the bad news. Finding and keeping talented employees has never been more complicated. There has been a marked shift in the last few years, resulting in evolving employee expectations. Many business owners have been heads down, focused on moving operations forward, and found adapting to the new landscape to be strenuous and complex.

The good news? There’s a remedy to recruiting and retention woes: creating a company culture that counts and an employee experience (EX) that matters.

Let’s look at the obstacles that business owners encounter when it comes to finding and holding on to top talent.

Recruiting Remains a Challenge

During a talent shortage, prospective employees wield significant power while they look for their next opportunity. In fact, our survey of more than 1,000 full-time employees found that compensation has become even more vital due to inflation and an uncertain economy.

But outside of salary, company culture was a driving force—31 percent of employees said that company values and culture are significant factors to motivate them to accept a job offer. And being personally fulfilled is increasingly relevant, as 88 percent say finding rewarding work is crucial in their job search.

Hanging on to Talent (By A Thread)

Losing talented people doesn’t only leave an open spot on a company’s roster—it’s also astonishingly expensive. On average, each departing employee costs an organization over $18,500. Why are people jumping ship? Our research found that a poor company culture would prompt nearly half of employees to look for a new job.

With 58 percent of employees planning to explore new job opportunities in the next year, time is of the essence for business owners.

We’ve looked at the challenges—now let’s move on to the opportunities for business owners to turn the tide and win the recruitment and retention battle.

Foster a Positive Culture

Of course, employees care about compensation. However, employees care about more than just cashing their paychecks. When we asked what’s keeping them at their current jobs, the top response was the work they do (31 percent), followed by the company they work for (24 percent). Surprisingly, compensation was the third-most popular response (20 percent).

Employees clearly care about having a sense of purpose in their roles and want an accompanying positive company culture. Employers can deliver by investing in professional development and learning opportunities. Not only will this investment aid in recruiting and retaining employees, but it can also pay big dividends through cultivating a culture of innovation. A talented employee who improves their skills and stays means competitors will be at a significant disadvantage during a talent shortage.

Embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI)

It’s a new age question—to use AI or not use AI. For many business owners, the question of whether to utilize (AI) is complicated. On the one hand, if used correctly it can be a valuable tool to add to their arsenal. On the other hand, it may leave employees feeling threatened that the technology will take their jobs.

When we asked over 2,000 full-time employees about their expectations and perceptions of AI tools, 68 percent of them thought AI will improve EX and a near-equal 66 percent would look favorably upon their employers if they utilize the capabilities to do so. As far as conquering concerns about “robot” replacement, business owners should know that 61 percent of full-time employees in the U.S. don’t feel threatened by AI-based tools.

HR Reinforcements to the Rescue

At the end of the day, business owners have enough to contend with—and managing HR is more than a full-time job. We found that 64 percent of HR leaders say they can benefit from HR support services and 58 percent plan on taking advantage of these services. The top ways leaders plan on using HR augmentation include employment law compliance, compliance gap review and employee handbook creation and maintenance.

Augmenting an HR function can have a massive impact on a company’s culture. A team of experts can solve the day-to-day complexities of an HR function while providing a strategic roadmap to turn HR from operational to strategic. The end result? A better company culture and more time for business owners to focus on their business.

Could your businesses HR function use an extra set of hands? Discover how isolved's experts can help you improve your company culture and streamline how you find and keep top talent.

Schedule a Demo