Company Culture

Professionals choose teams, not just jobs

Your talent pipeline requires an employer brand. Here's more from’s latest Culture Builder newsletter.

Written by Technically Media CEO Chris Wink,’s new Culture Builder newsletter features tips on growing powerful teams and dynamic workplaces. Below is the latest edition we published. Sign up here to get the next one this Friday.

Hiring is a high risk, high reward kind of endeavor.

Nearly half of new hires are thought to have missed expectations 18 months after their start, according to one survey. Plenty goes into that alarming statistic. One cause is a fixation on the old “speed to hire” metric, which brought about a “slow hiring” movement several years ago.

Hiring managers want to be able to turn on and turn off a hiring spigot — when there’s a new large client, a new investment round or a new major initiative. To do so, we talk about a “talent pipeline.” For small firms, that can be a network of people you’d love to add to your team when the opportunity arrives. For growing teams, that means a process very similar to a sales effort.

In response, recruiting teams promote ever-larger databases of prospective candidates with ever-fancier methods to sort people by skills. That assumes the match you need is strictly between a person and a job. Yet most of us personally approach this differently.

Professionals choose teams, not just jobs.

(This was a theme of’s Introduced conference last Thursday. Expect fuller takeaways this week.)

We want to know who we’ll work with, what interpersonal relationships are like, what the gossip is. We call this workplace culture. When this is taken as a recruiting focus, it’s often performative — mentioning the team happy hour, say — rather than intentional storytelling. More are catching on: a third of employer brand budgets now go to storytelling services, according to LinkedIn.


That gap between need and approach is what we at do with our employer brand work. (See our Talent Pro community, for example.) But there are lessons for all company culture builders. Tell authentic stories about why people succeed at your organization. Be unsatisfied with job descriptions — I know I am. For our Editorial Director role search, we supplemented the description with a quirky video welcome from those this person would work most closely with. It’s alongside other stories about our team.

These efforts should encourage candidates to disqualify themselves as much as amplify the fit for those whom you do hire. Improving “speed to hire” might very well be a consequence of improved hiring processes, a well-established employer brand and a well-developed talent pipeline — but it’s not the place to start. Our real goal is high-performing and happy teammates who stay with us for as long as is productive. Telling your employer brand story helps reduce the risk of a mismatch between candidate and opportunity.

And now the links.

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P.S. This year’s Introduced conference is happening during Philly Tech Week 2021 presented by Comcast. Register for free below.

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