​9 Famous Culture Code That Will Accelerate Your Hiring Efforts
By Kylee McIntyre06-Jun-2017Views 4037

Ideally, you don't have to look that hard to find a great hire - great hires come to you. You've worked hard on building a great company where people love coming to work every day. How do you share that culture with with potential workers? The best employee recruiting practices aren't just able to fill open positions - they make people envy people already working there.

A great way to do that is to sell your company culture along with the job.

There are plenty of companies advertising some combination of flexibility, transparency, work-life balance, non-traditional vacation policies, and other benefits. How do you stick out? With the internet and a bit of the ol' creativity, the possibilities are endless, but we're going to look at a specific tool: the culture code slide deck.

A culture code slide deck, for the mouthful it is, is a Powerpoint-type presentation, usually embedded into the company's website, that describes the company's official stance on culture. Think of it as a mission statement for company culture - with a little flair. It's public on the internet, informative, and a little tantalizing.

By the end of it, readers should have an idea about where the company stands, what its policies are, and what it's like to work there. And hopefully, they see themselves within the company as well.

The culture code is also a way to distinguish yourself - in policy, voice, even design - from other players in the field. It's an opportunity to showcase what makes your company unique.

For inspiration - and some solid takeaway points - here are nine companies' slide decks and how they tackle the hiring issue head-on. Remember, though, they're meant only as inspiration. Everyone company is different, so every culture presentation will be as well!

Startups' Culture Codes

1. Netflix

Netflix Culture Codes

Apply to enough trendy companies, and you're going to start seeing things that look similar - values, promises. But a quick scan of the business news of the day is indication enough that people - and companies - don't always practice what they preach. Netflix's slide deck goes for an honesty angle - pointing out companies that did exactly this (Enron, to be exact). It then sets out to differentiate itself.

Good employee qualities, it puts forth, are not just those heralded by a company but are those that get people hired and promoted. It then breaks down those qualities into smaller pieces, adding in benchmarks for performance. By the end, readers have an idea of what work life is like - and what they should and shouldn't do to keep their jobs.

Takeaways: A culture code can be a good place to directly counter concerns workers would have. But don't forget that it's ultimately a tool to both characterize and inform others about your company. Candor can be tough but is also respected. If you want one kind of job candidate and not another, feel free to say that in the culture code.

2. Hubspot

Hubspot Culture Code

Hubspot's slide deck sets the tone with a short definition of culture and why the marketing business considers culture important. The rest of the 128 slides lay out what it calls "part manifesto and part employee handbook." It combines the concrete - how to act at work - with the company's greater mission. Though the presentation is relatively long, the punchy lists inside read quickly, and doesn't mind spreading information out between slides for readability.

The culture code hits a balance between fun and firm. Quirky asides spice up the read but don't distract from the more serious stuff ("We each have a voice, but not always a vote.). Taking one part of the deck directly from Netflix - and crediting it - also shows a sense of humility.

Takeaways: Plenty of people are aware of the concept of a company culture. Using part of your deck to talk about what it means for your business works, as long as you're brief. A longer presentation is fine as long as it gets to the point and reads quickly - people have short attention spans and probably a lot of other tabs open. Being conversational is fine, even good, as long as you don't distract from your main points.

3. LinkedIn

LinkedIn makes its culture code read as nearly conversational, peppering explanations of its one-word values with personal stories of employees' accomplishments and charitable actions. Several value slides are held up on posters by LinkedIn employees, literally giving a face to the company.

By and large, LinkedIn lets its employees drive the slideshow as much as possible, using real pictures when possible and bright (but not distracting) colors and text to illustrate a company culture larger than the sum of its listed values.

Takeaways: A business' people make the culture, so keep your culture's focus on people. If you don't have the budget for professionally-taken photographs or enough employees to fill a 49-slide spread, try to add something that recognizes the identities of the employees at the company. Any HR or marketing director can throw together a list of inspiring principles. Consider lending potential hires the perspective of someone in a role to which they'll relate.

4. Buffer

Buffer Culture Code

Through Buffer, people can schedule content across social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Its slide deck takes the reader through its founders' culture-developing process - complete with the foundational literature from which CEO Joel Gascoigne and CEO Leo Widrich took inspiration (*How to Win Friends and Influence People*).

Buffer's culture code slide deck presents a ten-point list as its culture code, then breaks each down into four points in subsequent slides. Using "you" as a sentence subject throughout the explanations puts emphasis on readers and helps them visualize themselves doing what's being said.

The black text on a white background is straightforward and puts emphasis on what's being said instead of how it's being presented. From a creation standpoint, it's easy to make.

Takeaways: Help hirees see the situation from your point of view. Take them through your culture-creating process, from roots to the finer points. Also, pronouns can help here. Use "you" to address readers directly. Use "we" to convey a sense of community within the company. "I" lets potential hires visualize themselves within the company.

5. Dell

While its layout is a little busy for a quick read, Dell's slide deck does a good job of highlighting the company's features and inner programs. It accents these with personal statements from a diverse sample of employees. From these slices of life emerges Dell's interests in flexible work, environmental sustainability, employee health, and furthering the careers of existing staff.

The focus here is less about day-to-day work and more about possibilities. These fulfilling things can be yours too - if you work here.

Takeaways: Possibilities and benefits work well for larger companies. If you're a startup, you might want to mix these in with the type of worker spirit you'd like to see, along with some expectations for daily operations. An eye-catching company event or special benefit can't hurt, of course.

6. Tech in Asia

Tech In Asia Culture Code

Your slide deck doesn't always have to be super long, artistic, or have a lot of bells and whistles. Tech in Asia is a media, events, and jobs startup for Asia's startup ecosystem. Its slide deck is clean-cut and direct, evoking thoughts of a similar work environment.

The 35-slide presentation uses a background that brings to mind the graph paper we used in secondary school and highlights a five-point scale about company culture. Tech in Asia has far fewer employees than LinkedIn, but it still works in some employee voices - a slide that contains adjectives used by Tech in Asia staff adds a personal touch.

Takeaways: Less can be more in a culture code, as long as you get your point across. Letting workers have a hand in the process of creating or communicating the culture code can add to how genuine the slide deck feels.

7. The Motley Fool

Where Tech in Asia is straightforward, financial services company The Motley Fool is wacky and chipper, living up to its "foolish" inspiration. Through such a voice, it communicates its policies and quirky events through its slide deck, which includes a video.

The slide deck briefly touches on core company policies and attitudes, then explains signature events and policies the company offers. While there is logic behind calling an employee a "Fool," it still makes the presentation fun to read.

Takeaways: A gimmick can work if it fits your company's character. If the voice feels forced to you, it's going to feel forced to everyone else. If you can pull it off, though, it's another way to distinguish yourself from the crowd.

8. Asana

Asana Culture Code

Asana's tracking software helps teams at companies like Facebook and Tesla keep an eye on their upcoming tasks and the results of their work. For a task management business, their culture code slide deck has some areas with crowded text, but the presentation gets really good around the middle when it lays out its intriguing work cycles, called "Episodes." The deck also specifically addresses failure and how the company addresses and helps to rectify it.

What gets in the way? A few too many customer quotes at the beginning. Don't sell your outward results so hard that you miss out on letting future hires know what it's like on the inside.

Takeaways: Keep your layout clean and simple. If you need another slide (or four), make them. Ideally, your reader doesn't have to full-screen to read your presentation. In addition, consider tackling potential employee concerns (failure, detrimental competition, etc.) within your code. Finally, don't take too long to get to the good stuff! Keep your intro short, if it's needed at all.

9. RedMart

RedMart Culture Code

Online supermarket RedMart's culture code dubs its workers "RedMartians" and mixes encouraging pop culture references into its work policies, alongside a few fun team pictures. Included in the presentation are the business' policies on dealing with setbacks, measuring success, researching solutions, and perseverance.

Takeaways: Be sure that the presentation doesn't crowd the reader with text or picture - it keeps the deck flowing.

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Kylee McIntyre
American tech, science, health, and environmental writer. Lover of scifi, fantasy, travel, and coffee. Find her on Twitter @ejkyleem.
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