Culture or Cash? What would you actually choose?

15 June 2018 Mark Abbott

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As a recruiter at Interactiveinc, I am forever hearing the words "GOOD CULTURE".

I hear the words, "good culture" more than I hear, "I want to be a UX Designer" and to be honest... I'm sick of it! Ok, maybe that was a bit harsh, but what gives? I'm guilty of using this phrase or sequence of words which makes prospective candidates think that company X is going to be so amazing and that they are going to love their job, but what am I actually saying?

To start... Ask yourself, is an Xbox and beer on tap the pathway to good culture or is it a trap to keep you in the office till 9 pm every night? Maybe you enjoy team building exercises and opportunities for ongoing development? Sure we do, but are these things pulling us away from the job we just want to get paid for and go home? There are many combinations that we hear which bring a good culture to a company, but is this so-called good culture worth more than cash in the long run? In my experience, the answer is no.

Don't get me wrong, I have always supported the idea of a fun work environment which promotes a healthy culture. I've worked at start-ups and agencies where we had an Xbox, DJ, booze, trips... the whole she-bang; It was great! Eventually, these perks and cultures changed, but what didn't fade was the fact that I was still underpaid.

So what would you choose?: Culture or Cash?