In my experience as a recruiter, I've observed that culture is an important aspect in a candidate's decision making process, and I'd guess that more than half of candidates ask me what our culture is like. Many of those candidates stress how important culture will be to them when making a decision on accepting new employment. For me personally, employee culture is very important.
The culture at AOL now could not be more different from when first I joined in 2008. It's not that the 'old AOL' culture was bad, but it was not the open, fun and collaborative culture of the 'new AOL.'
In 2009, the announcement came out that Tim Armstrong would assume the role of CEO. The new leadership recognized the need to change the culture in order to change the company. Early on, a new AOL mission statement was generated using employee input from across the globe, and AOL crafted a corporate values statement that was largely drawn from employee input.
One of our core values is that 'We help people.' AOLers embody this value by participating in company-wide Monster Help Days, where employees have done community service that ranges from creating care packages for deployed troops, selling cupcakes in Grand Central Station to raise money for Cancer Research or renovating a library in a local elementary school. These events not only help us 'Walk our Talk' but they help to shake things up and are often fun. Hard work, but fun.
To take the culture transformation one step further, Culture Clubs have been established in each office. I'm a member of the Culture Club in New York. Our club holds a weekly happy hour and has staged events that range from a Halloween party, a chocolate and beer tasting and a Pride March pep rally. Similarly, offices around the country have held a variety of events that include a golf party, an annual Barbecue Cook Off, Office Olympics and various events, weekly and otherwise, that allow employees to have fun with their colleagues. I think these events, the community service and the existence of Culture Club have served a very important purpose – they have transformed our organization from the inside. Now when candidates ask me what the culture is like, I give them a very long, enthusiastic and sincere answer.
To find out more about working at AOL, visit our Careers pages. For more information on Monster Help Day, check out the video below!
Working at AOL: AOL's Culture Today aol.it/Us7JGc- AOL PR (@AOLPR) October 22, 2012