Why a good company culture attracts talent to your business

By Robert Half on 24 April 2024
Estimated Read Time: 5 minutes

It’s been said that “to win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace.”

In 2024, company culture is considered the bedrock of organisational success. A strong and positive company culture not only fosters employee satisfaction and engagement, it can also serve as a magnet for talent.

With employees spending one third of their lives at work, they have every right to be selective about where they spend their estimated 90,000 working hours. While friendly, supportive, and trustworthy cultures promote a greater sense of employee well-being, they also fuel advocacy.

According to a recent study, 82% of Singapore employees who feel their workplace culture is supportive, would recommend their organisation as a place to work.

As businesses are beginning to understand, attracting and retaining a strong team cannot be done with salary and perks alone. Ultimately, it’s company culture that can win the hearts and minds of new and existing talent.

In this article, we’ll explore how company culture attracts talent in the competitive Singapore market – how it can enrich the employee experience and, how it can set you apart from the competitors.

Related: The current trends in compensation and benefits in Singapore

The importance of company culture

By definition, company culture encompasses the values, beliefs, and behaviours that define a company. It’s the subliminal force that influences how employees interact, operate, and approach their work.

According to a recent Robert Half study, 52% of Singaporean workers say company culture is considered in their top 5 most important aspects of what they look for in a new role*. It’s proof that company culture can have a profound impact on talent acquisition and retention.

Andrea Wong, Managing Director at Robert Half Singapore, believes that if you aren’t taking the time to consider and nurture your company culture, you’re missing a mighty opportunity. She says, “We know company culture attracts talent, yet time and time again, I see businesses overlook it. Candidates want the opportunity to be part of a strong and vibrant workplace where they can thrive and be productive.”

“Singapore candidates aren’t just looking for a great company, they’re looking for a dynamic culture. They want their well-being prioritised, they want to belong to a trusted community of people, and they want a workplace that’s supportive, engaging, and purposeful. If you can craft this kind of culture, you’ll find yourself with more engaged employees who’ll be empowered to deliver greater outcomes for your business,” says Andrea.

Related: 6 ways to prevent a toxic workplace culture

Beyond the beanbags

We’ve all heard the stories about global corporations whose office environments are like playgrounds for adults. Companies that offer popular perks in the name of positivity and productivity – think complimentary coffee, onsite gyms, and fully stocked kitchens.

Andrea warns against being too superficial in the quest for a positive company culture. She says, “Free food and games rooms won’t score you the best and the brightest talent. It’s important to have a deeper foundation that centres around the provision of a healthy and supportive workplace culture where individuals feel valued, respected, and included.”

This kind of environment offers major appeal for modern employees - not only will it get them in the door, it will get them to stay. Data from the World Health Organisation demonstrates that in the long term, companies that promote and protect workers' health are among the most successful and competitive, and also enjoy better rates of employee retention.

It can’t be understated that company culture attracts talent. Therefore, to attract and retain great talent, you need a great culture – one that stands above the competitors. Companies who can differentiate themselves stand to gain a significant market advantage. Let’s explore the key concepts that are at the core of some of the strongest company cultures:

Psychological safety

Fundamental to a healthy and supportive workplace culture is the concept of ‘psychological safety’. In the context of company culture, psychological safety refers to an environment where employees feel comfortable expressing themselves, without fear of negative consequences, such as embarrassment, ridicule, or retaliation.

Andrea says, “Every organisation should aspire to provide a psychologically safe workplace. If you want to foster innovation, creativity and collaboration in your business, it cannot be overlooked. These environments invite the expression of ideas and opinions while empowering employees to take risks, ask questions, and engage in constructive dialogue.”

Recent studies have shown that company culture attracts talent in Singapore. More specifically, “fostering a more innovative and creative culture could promote greater advocacy alongside broader business developments.”

With so much to gain, make a conscious effort to establish a psychologically safe environment founded on a sense of belonging, support, and mutual respect. It’s sure to go a long way in helping employees to thrive, grow, and contribute their best work.


Singapore is renowned for its multicultural society and diverse workforce. In fact, if external migration rates remain consistent, the population will increase by 93,858 in 2024, due to migration alone.

In a country brimming with different cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds, it would be remiss of organisations to discount diversity. As studies show, company cultures that neglect Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I), face reduced rates of advocacy. Specifically, cultures described as ‘biased’, ‘narrow minded’ or ‘featuring favouritism’, have the lowest advocacy in Singapore.

Unsurprisingly, organisations that centre their cultures around DE&I, have a strong advantage in the realm of recruitment (and beyond).

Passionate about DE&I, Andrea says, “The only way for businesses to tap into the diverse range of perspectives, experiences, and talents in Singapore, is to make DE&I a priority. It’s not limited to recruitment either – it helps them to better understand and cater to the needs of their diverse customer base too!”

She says, “This kind of culture creates an inclusive and welcoming environment that helps to unlock the potential of a diverse and vibrant workforce.”

If you want your company and your culture to resonate deeply with the diverse Singapore talent pool, don’t overlook DE&I. Help individuals to feel valued, respected, and appreciated, and watch as their unique strengths shine, sparking creativity, innovation, and new ways of thinking.

Purpose beyond profit

According to a survey of Singaporean consumers, roughly 60 percent stated that they preferred socially-conscious brands that combine function with social good. These consumers indicated that they would like for brands to commit to supporting the community while being more environmentally friendly and sustainable.

With socially conscious attitudes rising in Singapore, candidates are increasingly determined to find employers whose values align with their own.

Corporate social responsibility is therefore paramount in 2024, with candidates seeking cultures founded on integrity, transparency, and ethical business practices. From philanthropy to volunteerism, sustainability efforts to corporate citizenship, there are many ways for organisations to fulfill their moral obligations.

This kind of company culture attracts talent who share these same values, as well as the drive to make a meaningful impact. This goes a long way in strengthening employee morale, engagement, and a sense of purpose.

Authentic leadership

It’s been said that ‘leadership is not a position or a title, it is action and example.’

When it comes to company culture, the tone at the top sets the tone for the rest of the organisation. Authentic leaders who model the behaviour and values they want to see in their employees, stand to gain the most when it comes to attracting and retaining talent.

Authentic leadership is pivotal to company culture as it cultivates trust, transparency, and integrity. Andrea says, “In today’s market, employees value leaders who can lead by example while demonstrating genuine care, honesty, and empathy. These leaders have the power to inspire loyalty and open communication while growing a culture based on mutual respect and collaboration. This is something I think about frequently in my leadership position.”

With great power comes the great responsibility to make it count. After all, employee engagement, business outcomes, and brand reputation all hinge on the quality and authenticity of an organisation’s leaders.

Work-life integration

Recent polls have found that Singapore professionals are most motivated to resign or change jobs for not just higher wages, but for better work-life balance. This follows a study of Singapore workers, who reported working an average of 8.2 unpaid hours a week in 2023.

While work-life balance has become a buzzword of sorts, the concept of ‘work-life integration’ has also gained momentum. Andrea says, “While work-life balance relies on a strict and relatively equal time allocation, work-life integration is more flexible. In essence, it allows individuals to allocate time and energy to work and personal life, based on their changing needs and circumstances.”

Our personal and professional lives are more fast-paced than ever. Employees are placing increasing value on flexibility and autonomy to manage their well-being holistically. As such, work-life integration has become a crucial component of positive company cultures in Singapore.

Companies that embrace work-life integration demonstrate genuine care and concern for their employees. From flexible work conditions to remote work arrangements, empowering employees to design their own schedule (within reason), ensures they are poised to feel happier, more satisfied, and less susceptible to burnout.

It’s these companies who are likely to resonate with candidates who prioritise holistic well-being, workplace productivity, and positive organisational culture.

Related: How building a culture of happiness can drive business performance

Prioritising mental health

Close to half (46%) of Singaporeans classify mental health as the biggest health problem facing the country today, topping both cancer (38%) and stress (35%).

With mental health concerns weighing heavily on employees, employers play a pivotal part in promoting greater well-being, while alleviating some of the mental health burdens that may stem from workplace stress and overwhelm.

Healthy employees are much more likely to be happy ones. They are the individuals who you can count on to turn up for work and put in a good shift. Prioritising mental health as part of company culture is, therefore, a strategic imperative in 2024 and beyond.

From complimentary counselling services to stress management workshops, mental health initiatives help to strengthen company culture, while fostering a supportive and resilient workforce. Companies that make mental well-being a clear priority, ultimately help to ensure that employees have the tools to thrive and work effectively.

With increasing awareness of mental health issues in Singapore, companies that prioritise mental well-being help to create an environment where employees (and prospective employees) can feel valued and nurtured. This commitment is compelling in the current market, especially for the many candidates seeking healthier and more sustainable company cultures.

If you want results in the marketplace, start by focusing on your workplace. Company culture attracts talent – the right one has the power to resonate with the right candidates who share your values and your goals, helping you to level up your business. If your organisation can build a company culture based on psychological safety, diversity, purpose beyond profit, authentic leadership, work-life integration, and mental health as a priority, you can sharpen your competitive edge in today’s recruitment market. Your culture will not only help you to recruit top talent, it will help you to make them stay.

Robert Half can help

If you’re seeking advice on any workplace issues within your business, our experienced team of management specialists can help.

Find out how much you should be earning (and paying) in Robert Half’s Salary Guide .

*The study is developed by Robert Half and was conducted online in November 2023 by an independent research company, surveying 500 workers in Singapore. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.

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