How to Use Culture to Find the Right Job
Q. How can I use corporate culture to find the right job?
A. Corporate culture affects many aspects of your life, not just your happiness and productivity in the workplace — so it’s an important factor to consider in your job search. Understanding the cultures of the companies can help you to determine whether you’re a good fit for the company (and vice versa), and whether or not you should apply.
When your ethics, goals, values, work habits, and communication style are in line with your employer’s, you’re more likely to be happy and stay for the long-term. And not only that, but culture is a major motivator to excel in your work, which benefits both you and your employer.
So how can you determine an organization’s culture before you’re actually hired? Try these steps:
- Start with the company’s website, especially the “About Us” page, job listings, and press releases. These usually contain information about the organization’s priorities and workplace values.
- Can you identify the company’s employer brand (i.e., how the organization is perceived as a place to work)? A good brand also gives you insight into the company values.
- When interviewing, ask questions about the company’s culture. How do employees and management communicate? How would the company describe its work environment (for example, high-energy, metrics-driven, innovative, balanced)? How long do most employees stay with the company? Don’t be afraid to ask to experience it for yourself.
- Research through social media. Blogs and social media pages (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter) often offer insight via employee videos, photos of company events, and other content.
- Ask about perks — especially non-monetary ones. Spouse or family health insurance coverage? Free or subsidized gym memberships? Extra vacation or travel accommodations? On-site stress busters? These perks might reveal cultures that accept and value families, health, “unplugging,” and in-office bonding, respectively.
Another way to determine the culture behind an employment offer is to work with a recruiter who takes the time to get to know you, what type of culture you’d fit in with, and what you value in an employer. A good recruiter won’t waste your time — or a hiring company’s time — with ill-fitting opportunities, but will instead introduce only the right matches.