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How to describe your company culture


With the top 20% of candidates being swayed by company culture, is your organization doing enough to describe company culture to your applicants? And if not, are you aware of the importance of company culture, and how powerful it can be? 

We know how important company culture is, not only for setting yourself apart from your competitors but for attracting the right candidates. The following topics will help you understand the importance of company culture.

What is company culture?

Company culture might seem like an impossible thing to define. It refers to the collective attitudes, values, and behaviors running through your company. 

It’s not something you can see. Although some organizations attempt to purchase items that ‘bolster’ company culture, like ping-pong tables and bean bag chairs, it’s often the case that company culture is an invisible ‘force’ that drives productivity. It’s something you sense and notice in the interactions between team members. It’s something you notice in the way team members make decisions.

When thinking about what company culture is, we should remember that it can be your company’s single most powerful advantage. It can improve a company for the better, but building a team culture is not always achievable instantly. It can take some time, which is why it’s important to describe company culture and use the right words to hire the right candidates and build a team culture.

What are the best words to describe company culture?

How you describe company culture is essential when attracting candidates to any vacancy. To describe company culture, start by looking at the core values of your organization. Use these core values and sum them up with particular words to convey to your candidates how your organization operates. This isn’t always simple.  Some examples of words you can use to describe company culture are:

  • Driven – are your team members compelled to achieve targets and goals? Do they seek to perform better, build on success, and are they ambitious when it comes to accomplishing projects and tasks efficiently? The ideal words to describe company culture, in this case, would be ‘driven’ or ‘determined’.

  • Inspired – if your organization seeks to encourage and inspire all team members, and the individuals within your team aim to learn new things every day, the best words to describe company culture would be ‘inspired’ or ‘inspiring’. A team that is content to try new approaches learns from their superior team members, and leans towards innovation has an ‘inspired’ team culture.

  • Challenging – are your employees driven to challenge the status quo, develop as individuals, and strive to improve upon techniques that have already proven successful in your organization? Do they look to develop their skills and tackle difficult tasks by challenging themselves? The words to describe company culture in this situation would be ‘challenging’ and ‘ambitious’.

  • Diverse – if your team culture is made up of unique voices, styles of thinking, opinions, visions, and aspirations that come together and contribute towards success, the best words to describe company culture would be ‘diverse’ and ‘open-minded’. Each of the unique individuals within your team not only makes for diverse culture, but they are also what drives success.

  • Cooperative – do the individuals within your organization collaborate and work together to achieve difficult goals? Do your team members support one another and do they help struggling team members to reach their targets? If so, your company culture can be described as ‘cooperative’ or ‘collaborative’.

  • Motivated – in a similar way to an ‘inspired’ and ‘driven’ company culture, if your team members feel positively compelled to improve – if they are self-driven to achieve targets – then ‘motivated’, ‘ambitious’, and ‘determined’ are all words to describe company culture. 

What is the importance of company culture?

We’ve mentioned that company culture puts you at an advantage – but how? What is the importance of company culture? Company culture is what sets your organization apart from your competitors. The reason it matters is that your candidates look at your company culture and seek to understand whether their values match up with this.

But the importance of company culture goes both ways. As an HR staff member, you should also be on the lookout for candidates who have the right values for your organization.

Company culture can make a significant difference to your co-workers’ productivity. It impacts morale. It enhances employee retention. And it means that you’re less likely to waste time having to rehire for a position where a candidate might be less productive.

This means, when you describe company culture, to some extent you are selling your organization. But above all, your goal is to align your culture with the candidates you attract to your vacancy – and this is often a challenge. To achieve this more simply, this is exactly where a culture add test can be beneficial.

How does TestGorilla’s culture add test help to assess cultural fit?

Given that company culture can often be invisible, there has never been an easy way to assess for cultural fit objectively. Until now. 

TestGorilla’s culture add test is a test that makes candidate selection from a ‘cultural fit’ perspective much more straightforward. As indicated by the name, the culture add test ensures you hire the candidates who will build and add to the culture of your organization.

By comparing your candidates’ values to your organization’s culture in an objective way, you’ll find that assessing cultural fit is much less challenging.

How to set up a TestGorilla culture add test

To set up a TestGorilla culture add test, you will first need to describe your company culture via TestGorilla’s culture add questionnaire. It works by requesting that you rate how important certain words and values are to your organization. You will need to evaluate each word from various categories using a scale of one to five. 

After this, you will then assess how your candidates’ values, behaviors, and activities align with your organization’s culture. When you distribute the test, your candidates will have to choose the words they most identify with. You can then find out whether their values match up to your organization.

You can also find out how your candidates’ behaviors align with the particular role you are hiring for. You will first need to define which behaviors you are searching for beforehand. Then, you can distribute your tests and find out whether your candidates’ behavioral traits align with the role.

What are the advantages of using a culture add test?

There are various advantages of using a culture add test for making hiring decisions. Not only will you find out which candidates’ values objectively align with your organization, but you will also gain the following benefits.

Avoid hiring biases when making a final decision

The objectivity of the culture add test means that instead of making unconsciously biased hiring decisions based on the sound of a candidate’s name, or a candidate’s gender, you will make reliable hiring decisions that are not subjective. The advantage of this is that you will avoid mis-hiring a candidate and having to re-hire in the future.

Reduce time-to-hire when choosing a candidate

Culture add tests are a faster way of understanding how your candidates’ values align with your organization’s culture. Instead of relying on the ‘buzzwords’ used by candidates on resumes and cover letters to find out more about their values, and having to search through each resume to do so, you can reduce your time-to-hire with a culture add test. 

Make hires that are likely to keep staff turnover low 

As soon as you find the right candidate whose values match your organization with the culture add test, you’re more likely to retain that candidate as an employee and keep staff turnover low. This is because the results of the culture add test are accurate, will ensure that you don’t mis-hire from the perspective of cultural fit, and will show which candidates are likely to perform well in your organization. With these factors, you are likely to retain your employees.

Hiring candidates whose values align with your organization: what to remember

The importance of company culture shouldn’t be overlooked. A culture add test can make candidate selection simpler. To use it successfully, and attract the candidates who align with your company values, remember to choose the best words to describe your company culture. The test will do the rest – all you need to do is analyze the results! Explore the features of TestGorilla’s culture add test and discover how it can make your hiring decisions simpler with a free trial.


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