We talk a lot about culture as the foundation for organisational strategy and how things get done. It’s also an important part of how you attract top talent to your school, business or nonprofit. Not only do people want to work in an environment where they feel valued, they also want the to share values with the organisation they work for. Whether your organisation values performance, ownership, innovation, or creativity, your culture will also become the basis of your reputation — or employment brand — which ultimately attracts potential employees to work for your organisation.


According to Gallup, a strengths-based culture is the best kind of employment brand, and it attracts people who value performance and growth.


“A strengths-based brand draws job seekers who are motivated to use and develop their innate abilities — people who are dedicated to performance and thrive in a highly driven work environment.”


This doesn’t mean we have to focus on performance in order to catch the attention of job seekers who also value performance. The key is to focus on organisational strengths and cultivate a reputation as a place where employees thrive using their natural talents and abilities. In fact, Gallup studied “strengths-based management systems” and found that 90 percent of the groups experienced improved performance, profit, retention and employee engagement.


Likewise, a study from Deloitte indicates that investing in leadership and employee development is more important than salary and benefits, when it comes to cultivating a strong employment brand. Indeed, people want to work in organisations with opportunities to learn and grow, and possibilities for career development. This is especially true of ambitious, young, millennial workers who crave feedback and thrive under modern leaders.


For most culture focused organisations, the employment brand will come naturally. However, the strongest employment brands:

  • Have defined culture: This is number one. If you don’t know what you value, job seekers will draw conclusions based on the information that’s available.


  • Focus on strengths: People want to work in organisations where their skills and natural talents will be valued, and where they are challenged to build on their strengths.


  • Focus on development: Talented workers are often the most ambitious. They’ll seek out organisations with a reputation for developing leaders.