“Why has it become so difficult to hire people in startups? Do you think you could send us more options? When would I have the first list?”

As a Technical Recruitment Leader, these are just some of the questions that I hear practically every day,  throughout the years of experience in several companies (Enterprise, Mid Sized Companies, and Startups).

I have realized that one of the most relevant factors, when it comes to attracting talent, is the organizational culture of the company. This, in turn, is part of its “Employer Brand.” Let’s accept it, saying, “I’ll talk to you about X or Y transnational company (that everyone knows about)” is not the same as saying, “I’ll talk to you about Startup Name.”


Organizational culture and employer branding


Why does organizational culture influence the employer’s brand? And how does the culture of organizations affect attracting talent?

Let’s start by defining the concept. Schein (1985) states: “Organizational culture is the way in which the company has learned to manage its environment, a complex mixture of assumptions, behaviors, stories, myths, metaphors and other ideas that define what it means to work in an organization.”

While Stephen Robbins (2014) tells us: “Organizational culture is a system of meanings shared by members, which distinguishes an organization from others.”

I would like to point out a couple of important points from the previous 2 assertions:

1) In the first paragraph, Schein tells us about how the company has learned to manage its environment. That is, how it has responded to the pressure and challenges of its environment.

Remember that a company should be treated as a person: it is a living entity that is constantly changing. It has its own character, its own form or methodology to solve problems. Also, its members “share” behaviors, assumptions, ideas, etc., that, in general, affect the way the organization works.

2) Robbins tells us about “shared meanings”, that is, beliefs, values, visions, behaviors, etc, which the majority of those who make up this group agree to follow and/or allow all of these “shared elements” to create an environment that in turn is part of the culture that is lived within the company.


Making your company stand from others

Organizational culture is intrinsically linked to the brand of the company since it is the way in which both the members of the company and the external environment perceive it. The challenge here is to maintain congruence between the external image (Brand) and its internal image (Organizational Culture). This drives the importance of working together with the talent acquisition department, which is the first point of contact with the candidates, so to speak: “the face of the company in the labor market.”

But how are we, as a company, different from others? This, I personally consider, is one of the most important points to be able to go out to the market looking for talent and attract it successfully.

The new generation of workers doesn’t demand only a good benefits package and flexible schedules with free coffee and snacks. In the IT industry where software developers, QAs, and support engineers have an “N” amount of options of employers, they seek, in addition to the aforementioned, to belong to a group of people who form a true work team. Where together they do something significant that generates real value to their environment, and if possible, something that allows them to leave a legacy.

Maybe it’s time to start asking yourself:

  • Can your employees explain where your company comes from? What does it do? Where it’s going?
  • Does your team have the clarity on what’s expected from them?
  • Do they know what makes your company different from others?
  • Have you identified why employees prefer to work at your company?


I invite you to answer these questions in your organization as a good start, and we will make sure that, in fact, ALL the members of our company understand and share these concepts in their daily lives. Believe me, and I say this from experience, having clarity on what distinguishes us, and why we are here, makes talent acquisition work a stimulating activity, where it contributes not only to “offering work”, but also being the major factor, or the vehicle to generate a true impact. And thus change life in a positive way for so many professionals who seek to work for companies where they can develop their skills, share their knowledge, and contribute to making this a better country.

For you, dear reader, how has the organizational culture of your company influenced your employer brand?