Transparency: The Key to Leveling Up Candidate Experience and Company Culture

If your company strikes job seekers — or current employees — as a black box operation, it’s time to demystify your internal structure with a public org chart.

Getty images
Getty images
By Iterate Team
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8 minute read

In case you missed it, transparency in the workplace is here to stay — but those words quickly become meaningless if a company’s day-to-day operations don’t back them up.

So if your company strikes job seekers — or even more critically, your employees — as a black box operation, a good place to begin your transparency journey is by demystifying your internal structure with a public org chart.

Here’s why unveiling the inner workings of your org levels up your candidate experience and company culture.

A great candidate experience begins with your hiring strategy.

Here’s a simple truth: a disorganized hiring strategy makes for a rough candidate experience. But if roles are well-defined and scoped out to directly address real business needs, you’re well on your way to delivering a world class candidate experience.

When the particulars of a role aren’t clear, the job description will read as too bare bones and vague — or as a laundry list outlining too many hats for a single person to wear well. Both extremes lack the specificity candidates need to see themselves as a good fit for the position and take the plunge into your candidate experience.

To make sure you’re hiring to fill a real need rather than put out a fire, the first step in your hiring process should be a skills gap analysis to zero in on the exact skills and qualification your team needs on their roster — and your company’s org chart is a great place to start.

With a 360 view of the talent and potential already in your org, you’ll be able to spot the gaps and evaluate if a new role is warranted — or if you have an opportunity to upskill promising employees.

When you hire for skills first, it’s easy to reverse engineer an accurate job title and description that ultimately sets applicants up for a positive candidate experience. After all, it’s about finding the right people for your org — not maxing out headcount just for the sake of it.

Attract top talent, and exceed their expectations.

These days, there’s more than salary and perks to consider when applying for jobs. In fact, as many as 77% of people would consider a company’s culture before applying for a job there, according to a 2019 survey by Glassdoor.

But we live in a time when an underwhelming 27% of employees strongly agree that they “believe in” their company’s values — and only 23% strongly agree that company values are applicable to their day-to-day work.

Job seekers recognize that there’s often a gap between desired company culture and real company culture, so they turn to social media, job boards and public org charts to learn what the company's like behind the scenes.

At the end of the day, employees are the DNA of any employer brand — so showing them off in the context of an org chart is a more effective way to showcase the nuance of your company culture than describing it in a job description.

Using your org chart as a narrative tool for your company culture and employer brand is one of the few possible automations in the talent conversion phase of your candidate experience — because when candidates understand the full context of the role and company they’re applying to, they can flex their most relevant skills to dazzle hiring managers. And hiring managers can more easily tell who’s the best fit.

In short, making your org chart public shows jobseekers what to expect when they engage with your company, and sets you up to exceed their expectations once they embark on the candidate experience with your employer brand.

Remove onboarding obstacles.

Joining a new company can feel like a job in itself. Learning the ropes, and getting acquainted with a new team and set of responsibilities all take time. Because an org chart gives new joiners a visual layout of the whole company, they’ll see how their role and team fit into the bigger picture.

The reality is that a bird’s eye view of where their role fits into the broader organization motivates employees no matter their tenure. A transparent org chart is like a living document that evolves alongside your company, so everyone can see how they contribute to business objectives regardless of when they joined. Without visibility into their impact early on in their employment with you, new joiners’ onboarding will lack the meaning and context necessary to make their role fulfilling when they’re fully operational employees.

A comprehensive org chart answers most onboarding questions before they’re asked — and the answers are at their fingertips whenever they need them. To summarize: this optimizes your onboarding process, boosts value added from new joiners out of the gate, and keeps them happy at your organization for longer.

Foster a connected company culture.

The better employees get along with their team members, the more fruitful their professional life will be — and a public org chart can help employees build meaningful relationships and shape your company culture.

Org charts function as a visual directory of a company’s entire staff. At the click of a button, employees can access their colleagues’ names, photos and professional profiles — providing all the context they need to confidently engage with their new colleagues. No more struggling to attach a name to a face or remember anyone’s role in the team.

This can be taken a step further when employees are encouraged to make the most of their profile within the org chart. When employees populate their profile with details on their work and communication styles, the qualities they value in their colleagues, and their pet peeves, it sets employees up for positive work interactions and personal connections.

Being able to successfully communicate and build meaningful relationships with colleagues promotes genuine connection and transparency in the workplace — and makes their days more fulfilling. With a company culture built on connection, no one feels alone in a crowd.

Operational transparency boosts efficiency.

Public org charts help clear up the bottlenecks and information gaps that often form in siloed professional settings.

Let’s say an employee works in marketing, and needs to track down a legal executive who can answer questions relevant to their department. Without a public org chart, they’d have to ask any number of colleagues (who might have to ask other colleagues) — which can add up to a surprising number of people investing valuable time in finding answers.

But with an org chart, the entire legal department (and their contact info) would be clearly laid out, making them accessible to everyone who needs them. When tactical information is always available, everyone in the company can use their time to the fullest.

Make remote work easier.

More and more companies are transitioning to remote work, and that comes with plenty of benefits and drawbacks for employees. While some employees will appreciate skipping the commute to work from the comfort of their own home, others will miss the water cooler chats and IRL dynamic with their team.

These factors can create distance within the company, taking a toll on employee morale and productivity. But a public org chart can function as a professional social media platform within your company, helping everyone feel like a valued member of their team.

Set employees up for growth.

Last but not least, an org chart can also put a spotlight on growth opportunities within the company so employees can proactively keep an eye on their career progression. With a clear view of the roles in the company — and what skills and qualifications they require — employees can easily chart their own path for growth.

Employees can even use their profile within the org chart to build their personal brand, highlight their crowning achievements and skills, and put their best foot forward for a promotion.

Are you using your org chart to the fullest?

If you're ready to take advantage of the benefits of public org chart software, we're here to help. Click here to search your company on The Org and see if you’re listed. If not, it’s quick and easy to set up an org chart and add yourself in!

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