Lisa Finnegan standing in a corridor with lights and stairwells.
Lisa Finnegan. Image: Naoise Culhane

Culture and values are key for talent attraction, new data finds

18 Jul 2023

Irish-based workers see job interviews as a chance to ask value-based questions of their prospective employers, says new LinkedIn data.

Internal LinkedIn data reveals that the platform has seen a 154pc increase in entry-level jobs that mention workplace culture and values in their ads over the past two years. And for the same period, job postings that mention culture, flexibility and workers’ wellbeing are getting close to three times more views and double the number of applications.

In its data specific to Ireland, LinkedIn found that workers here are becoming more and more assertive when it comes to telling employers what kind of working conditions they want. The Irish data comes from a five-day period in March 2023, during which Censuswide surveyed 1,128 workers based here. Almost two-thirds (62pc) of Irish professionals told the surveyors that they would not apply for a job at a company that did not share their values.

Workers here are even sacrificing pay and commuting time to go and work for employers that align with their principles. For example, 35pc of people surveyed said they left a job for one that better aligned with their values even though they knew they would have a longer commute. Despite the fact that salary remains the most important factor for Irish jobseekers amid a cost-of-living crisis, many of those in employment find themselves disillusioned by their employers’ values.

Values are a deciding factor

Misaligned values can be the deciding factor for both existing employees and prospective staff. A majority (91pc) of professionals surveyed have considered or would consider leaving a job for opportunities at other companies that better align with their values, while 23pc of the survey participants who have been disappointed with the culture or values of their new employer said they stopped working as hard as a result.

When it comes to the values Irish workers want to see in workplaces, things like diversity and inclusion, sustainability, career progression and mental health were all identified as things workers want companies to be strong on.

More than a third (37pc) of those surveyed said diversity, equity and inclusion is the most important factor for them. One quarter said that when evaluating a company’s culture and values, social impact is their top consideration. Almost a fifth (19pc) of respondents said environmental sustainability is their chief concern.

More than half (58pc) of the workers said that they are comfortable asking a potential employer about what mental health policies they have for employees and a similar amount (59pc) said they would ask interviewers about how they protect their employees from burnout. Workers are using job interviews to ask these kinds of value-based questions of their prospective employers.

As Lisa Finnegan, VP of international HR at LinkedIn said, “Misalignment of values with a company can be a deal-breaker, particularly for younger generations as they look for positions which have a positive impact on society and seek to align both their personal and professional values. And despite economic uncertainty, increasing numbers of people will walk away from a job offer or a role if they don’t believe a company cares about the things that really matter to them.”

To accommodate all jobseekers – not just Irish ones – who want to search for jobs based on an employer’s values, LinkedIn has introduced a job search tool that lets people search for open roles based on an organisation’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, work-life balance, sustainability and social impact.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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