Sep 06
Ping Pong Culture_Research Partners_How Recruitment Adapts to Culture

Talent & Culture: Recruitment in the Era of Ping Pong

We’ve heard about the ping pong tables, the company retreats, the in-house yoga, the stand-up desks and the endless perks of the ever-competitive culture boom to pin-down the best employees.

To attract the great talent you need for growth, businesses like yours are under increasing pressure to get creative with their company culture. A lot has changed in the working environment, and the standard vision of contemporary business culture is a far cry from the corporate world of the 20th Century. We’re not just talking about dress codes and office furniture; the way businesses recruit talent has also had to radically adapt to the changing times.

Perks = Loyalty

Showcasing a cool, ‘hip’ or offbeat culture has become a popular way for businesses to attract higher volumes of potential candidates, and create a space where employees can thrive and build a loyal relationship with the company. If you’re a UK recruiter in charge of acquiring talent for a business, it’s essential that you reflect on this culture ‘boom’, and incorporate similar ideologies into your style of recruitment.

‘Ping pong culture’ is a colloquial term often used to describe the rise of fun, alternative workspaces, often associated with startups looking to bring in an initial wave of fresh talent.

More often than not, this culture means including a ping pong table, free snacks, great coffee, Friday beers and other workplace perks. The aim of this new type of business ‘culture’ is to create an environment where employees are engaged and motivated, and feel connected to the company’s values and progress  – by ensuring this is the case you improve staff retention rates.

However, it’s important that employers don’t mistake a few great-sounding perks for an actual company culture; just as buying fancy ingredients doesn’t mean you’ll be able to create a delicious, hearty meal. Businesses need to create a positive, versatile, and dynamic culture that is unique to the company from the inside out.

Recruitment in the Era of ‘Ping-Pong’ Culture

We all know how the saying goes: ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’, and never a truer word has been said with regards to business. Without a team of innovative, talented individuals who are able to collaborate and get creative together, your company doesn’t have a chance of achieving growth and long-term success. You need to be looking for staff that are not only great at their jobs, but who take it seriously, are invested in the company’s success, and are willing to commit themselves professionally for the long haul.

At Research Partners, half of our approach to finding the ideal recruit is by looking at their compatibility with our client’s unique culture. We have a deep understanding of how company culture impacts employee health and wellbeing, and subsequently their competence and efficiency when performing a job. Continuously finding new ways to create an inviting workplace is only part of the way to attract the candidates you want; the culture of recruitment itself needs to be fluid and versatile too.

Creating a rich, consistent company culture helps build relationships between all employees, managers and CEOs, encouraging a more communicative and inspiring atmosphere for both staff and clients. All of these efforts are excellent for attracting new talent as they make your business more appealing to candidates seeking a job that has integrity and longevity.

Translating Culture to Sought After Candidates

Sometimes culture is quite ambiguous, and articulating a company culture can be a challenge. At Research Partners, we collaborate with our clients to express exactly what their culture is all about and incorporate this expression into recruiting great staff for them.

We recruit great talent for our clients by taking several variables into consideration in our screening process. We look at how well each candidate is suited to the job based on more than just their professional experience or qualifications; we take into account their fit with the current company culture, and how their previous culture interactions affect their suitability for the role, as well as the types of assessments we put them through.

Creating a Fun Workspace – Is it Enough?

The term ‘ping pong culture’ isn’t just about offering an endless stream of glittering perks. It’s an easy way to make your office LOOK like a fun place to work, but it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a healthy underlying company culture. If you’re looking to recruit the best of the best, you’ll need to offer more than a fancy coffee machine – so how do you adapt your recruitment strategy to this new, informal culture?

The philosophy behind office ping pong culture is one of inclusivity and progression, which goes above and beyond Casual Fridays… As a recruiter, you can incorporate this progressive culture by being clear and consistent on your company values, and be sure to hire people who you believe are truly compatible – both personally and professionally – with the business’ core values.

It’s the job of the recruiter to advocate for these key values, be able to communicate them effectively and spot them successfully in the talent that comes their way. Transparency is also key; if you want to get great people working for you, you need to be open from the off with what they can expect from working with you. Great candidates can and should pick up on any underlying negativity or issues that are being skirted over, so if you want the best you’re going to need to be the best – and most honest – company you can be.

The Future is Bright

 Recruitment, then, isn’t just about enticing candidates in with the promise of table tennis tournaments. You’ll attract plenty of applicants that way, but they won’t necessarily be what the business needs, and you won’t be able to guarantee the levels of commitment and trust necessary to make your company go far.

In the Age of Information, recruitment methods have continued to evolve and move further away from what employees may have experienced in previous decades. With interview processes growing longer, online job seeking tools becoming available, social media increasingly being used as job platforms, transferable skills becoming more and more required, and an increasingly competitive forum for businesses to find talent, there’s lots to learn if you want to be a successful employer.

Ultimately, a great business culture today is the same as a great business culture 100 years ago: it’s a place where all employees have the same rights and are treated fairly; it’s a place where creativity and innovation can be encouraged to shine, no matter where you rank in the hierarchy; and above all, it’s a place where changes are welcomed with open arms.

It’s the job of the recruiter to attract the right kind of talent and be honest and open about the core of your company. Adapting to contemporary business culture means, of course, focusing on a positive and productive working environment, but that requires a healthy seed of values to be planted deep inside the company itself. Work on your integrity as a business, and the ideal candidates will come to you.

About The Author

Natalie Heilling is an International Executive Search Consultant and Co-Founder of Research Partners running various recruitment campaigns across Europe, North America, and Asia while helping clients reach their hiring targets with peace of mind. Natalie has worked in Technology and eCommerce for the last 20 years and helped US companies confidently establish themselves in Europe and emerging markets.

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