“They’ve Got Good Drinking Culture” – So What?

“They’ve Got Good Drinking Culture” – So What?

Written By Jack Pearce

Sell Me The Job, Not The Self-Imposed, Forced Culture.

I take calls from recruiters every now and then. Not because I’m chasing coin, not because I’m looking for pastures new, but because ever since I’ve worked in the recruitment industry (as a non-recruiter) I have been fascinated with the sales pitch. Especially over the phone and especially when a recruiter is uber presumptive about what I’d like about this ‘amazing new opportunity’.

I’m 26, went to uni, enjoy social stuff, I’m a human who enjoys the majority of human activities. A drink every now and then? Sure. However, if I’m going to change my career, which in turn changes my lifestyle, I simply do not give one single toss if they have a ‘good drinking culture’. If anything, this would put me off. As I said, I’m not averse to a drink, nor am I adverse to getting too drunk and singing ABBA on my balcony at 1am. But this does not mean I’m going to leave my wonderful job for the chance to drink with more people on a more regular basis.

I understand that selling a culture is an integral part of the recruitment process, but I am in a very privileged position (Co-Host of Tech Talks). I really understand what good culture looks and feels like because we talk to founders, CTO, CEOs etc. on a weekly basis – we know that a forced culture is not a culture at all.

Yeah But We've Got A Ping Pong Table

It doesn’t stop at drinking. There is all manner of things we hear about going to work somewhere new. Ping pong tables. Fake grass. Friends. These do not define a business, they are not amazing selling points if anything it’s simply expected at a lot of places these days.

If you want to sell a company’s culture in a positive way, please, when you next pick up the phone drive the following:

An inclusive team and diversity of thought and background enables EVERYONE to grow, learn and succeed – I’m not in the business of giving evidence to back up my facts, but this is a no-brainer and quite frankly I know I’m right here
Cultural heritage and vision. Have they won awards? How have they grown? How will they continue to grow over the next 5 years?
CSR matters. What does the company do outside of their BAU activity to help the community?

The Invasion Of The Millennial

I am a millennial; we are driven by purpose and we are generally hungry to succeed at a rapid pace. We are not all driven by lager-filled Thursdays, the majority of us want to work somewhere that has a true (and here’s that word again) purpose. We are not a bum on a seat. We’ve all had a drink before as well if we want to go out for a drink after work we are actually rather adept at communicating this to our co-workers via that tool that sits between our nose and chin. To have this as one of the main selling points for a new career opportunity seems superficial, superfluous and super-dumb.

Oh, and one more thing. It is very assumptive to guess that everyone drinks – I’ve actually done this in this article, so I am part of the problem too. I could have demons, I could be religious, it is not inclusive to sell this kind of culture when in fact it would almost certainly put off a large percentage of candidates for reasons that actually matter – not like my reasons, which sees me act as a diva just because I despise this approach.

Fancy A Quick One?

I do understand that companies may indeed have a big drinking culture, it may be a USP of theirs, but please do not sell this as the best part of a new company, because not all of us want to get plastered on a Thursday. That’s for Friday and Saturday anyway…

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