How Important is “Culture” to Recruiters?

Hello everyone.  I’m  writing this guest post with exactly 2 weeks to go before #RHUBNZ kicks off at the Floating Pavilion in Auckland.  As someone who actively agitated, coerced and cajoled to have this cool event make the trip across the Tasman, I’m hugely proud of the way things are shaping up.  It’s going to be an event not to be missed for anyone passionate about recruitment in New Zealand.

I will be talking about the power of positive culture in recruitment teams and how it can be developed to attract, and retain, the best recruitment talent to your organisation.  Phillip has kindly slotted me into the 2pm slot so I will be doing my best to rouse the delegates from their post-lunch torpor while attempting to resurrect the agency flag after a morning dominated by the internal recruitment galacticos of New Zealand.

In preparation for my presentation we at Rice Consulting conducted a survey of the recruitment leaders, owners and managers across New Zealand.  From the 84 responses I have put together a whitepaper on what factors the firms with the best attraction of recruiters, and lowest turnover of recruiters, have that point towards their positive cultures, so that others can see what does, and doesn’t work.  I thought this might be a good platform to share a part of the whitepaper, and then there is a live poll on LinkedIn where you can go and have your say too:

The Attraction of Culture

In its Quarterly Global Workforce Benchmarking Report for Q1 2012, the Corporate Leadership Council revealed the Top 10 EVP Drivers of Attraction by Region.  The number one factor in a Global sense is Compensation, but that doesn’t feature until number five in the Australia & New Zealand Region:

Rank Global Australia & New Zealand
1 Compensation Work-Life Balance
2 Respect Respect
3 Stability Location
4 Work-Life Balance Stability
5 Location Compensation
6 Future Career Opportunity Ethics &   Integrity
7 Development Opportunity Future Career Opportunity
8 Recognition Recognition
9 Ethics &   Integrity Product /   Service Quality
10 Vacation People   Management


Whilst the importance of culture can be seen in a global sense with Respect, Recognition and Ethics & Integrity all featuring, it seems to be of even greater attraction to us in Australia and New Zealand.  Many factors come above Compensation, including Respect.  A greater importance is placed on Ethics & Integrity and then the culture driving factors of Product/Service Quality and People Management make an appearance in the top ten as well.


Why is Culture So Important?

Agency recruitment firms with the best workplace cultures are consistently able to attract, and retain, the top recruitment talent in the market.  A strong organisational culture fosters strong engagement from the recruiting staff, leading to better productivity, more effective collaboration, more innovative thinking, a tighter control over retention of talent and intellectual property, ultimately leading to better financial results and a more attractive employer brand.

When you have the right mix, you will have a business that can acquire and attract top talent, with a culture where success breeds success.


“Effective culture can account for 20-30% of the differential in performance when compared to “culturally unremarkable” competitors.”

The Culture Cycle, James L. Heskett


How Important is Culture to Recruiters?

We have seen how important culture is to the wider workforce in our region.  But how important is it to recruiters, who are often in possession of quite different drivers, personalities and characteristics to the general workforce?

New Zealand’s Recruitment Leaders were asked what they believed to be the main drivers of attraction for top recruitment talent to join their teams.  The 84 respondents produced a top five as follows:

Rank Driver of Attraction
1 Overall Compensation Package
2 Corporate Reputation & Culture
3 Work-Life Balance
4 Future Career Opportunities
5 Stability


Whilst culture was only narrowly beaten to the post by overall compensation package, it is apparent that New Zealand’s recruitment leaders have adopted the more global viewpoint when it comes to attracting top recruiters.  To their mind it is just as important, if not more so, to offer a competitive compensation package than it is to establish a positive workplace culture.

But what about the actual recruiters themselves?  Do they share the same viewpoint on drivers of attraction as their Directors and Managers?  Results of our recent LinkedIn poll might suggest otherwise:

Click on the link above to have your say on what you, as a recruiter, find to be the strongest driver of attraction in choosing a new employer.


To all of you attending the conference I look forward to sharing my findings in more detail, including how the firms with best cultures do it, and some essential tips on what you can do right now to improve the culture of your firm, and thereby improve your ability to attract and retain the top recruitment talent in the market.  See you at the RHUB Social on 17th October!