5 ways to find out if a company culture is right for you
When looking for new challenges, candidates tend to focus primarily on role description, type of business and salary conditions. While they are trying to find the right job on paper, it’s easy to overlook one essential part of getting the perfect role: company culture!
Your work should not be limited to one function, but should rather be a source of learning, satisfaction and appreciation. If you don’t seem comfortable in your new work environment, it’s clear that your commitment, integration and performance will not be there. The chances for you to stay there for the long term, be fulfilled and happy are therefore very low. This is why finding the right corporate culture for you is so important.
Many recruiters agree that this distinctive culture is one of the factors that turn a simple workplace into a great professional environment. This differentiating factor is gaining popularity with applicants from all walks of life and all ages.
Paradigm shift or ephemeral trend? Actually, this new era of identity branding seems to be here to stay. Employees are not only looking for salary conditions that reflect their contribution to organizations, but also several other equally important aspects such as work-life balance, a collaborative atmosphere, innovative tools and training programs.
To help you get your ideal job, we’ve shed light on 5 different ways to determine whether or not a company culture is right for you.
What is company culture?
Each company has its own approach and definition, however, company culture also called corporate culture can be defined as the personality of an organization. It’s a mix between the physical environment of the organization and the full range of values, ethics, behaviors and goals shared by its employees. This corporate culture is a collection of ways of acting, feeling and thinking that are shared by members of an organization and that shape the way stakeholders perceive it.
Corporate culture is the most shared and least formalized aspect of an organization. It must be learned, felt and accepted implicitly by new members. Building a company culture is beneficial for everyone involved and contributes greatly to improve the performance and growth of the company.
How do you determine if a company’s culture is right for you?
1. Be introspective
The key to finding the right corporate culture for you is to think about who you are and what you want. Before you get too excited about a company, make sure you take the time to do some introspection to determine what you want to learn, what motivates you, what makes you happy and successful, what is the ideal work/life balance for you, if it is a place where you could flourish…
What motivates you?
Before looking at a company’s culture, it is important to first know what type of work environment you thrive in. Try to identify what motivates you, think about a time when you were extremely productive and the factors that contributed to it..
What makes you happy and successful?
Try to find out what really makes you happy in life and what your priorities are. This goes beyond your perfect work environment and includes some personal aspects, such as sharing the same values as the company or at least being in a company that doesn’t contradict them.
What makes you happy and what motivates you can sometimes be similar at work (ex: teamwork), but this is not always true. Maybe you work better under pressure, or on the contrary: are you looking for routine and more repetitive execution? The important point here is to understand your preferences and determine what makes you happy or unhappy in your work environment. Make sure you choose a job that will maximize your potential and help you fulfill professionally.
What is your lifestyle?
Now, it’s time to ask yourself if the job position you have been offered is a good fit for the lifestyle you are looking for. The job can be great, but if it ends up taking over your personal life then it turns out to be a big deal. For example, a company might organize after-work parties, but you may prefer to spend time with your family on weekday evenings. Or a company may offer flexible hours that allow you to incorporate certain sports activities during the day, which is great if you are someone who values a healthy, fit lifestyle.
2. Research the company!
During the job search process and in preparation for interviews, it’s very important to be well prepared by doing various research on the company in order to get as much information as possible about their management culture. To do so, make sure to check out the company’s website, visit their social media and LinkedIn profiles, read their press releases, and don’t forget to have a look at reviews & comments on recruitment websites!
The company’s website
Most companies have websites specifically designed to present their mission, teams and values. Visiting the website will help you gain a basic understanding of the company’s core values and principles and what they look for in a potential employee. In addition, you will be able to find pictures or videos which is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with the work environment and get an idea of the office dynamics.
The Company’s social media
You should also check the company’s social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. It’s no secret that social media has completely changed the way a company sells its products and services and interacts with its customers.
Checking recent social media posts can give you an overview of company activities, team activities, the latest news, and more. Social media networks also include recruiting platforms such as Glassdoor and Indeed where you can view employee experiences. Remember that each person has their own experience and perspective. A company culture that works for you may not be right for someone else and vice versa. Determine your priorities and review the comments and feedback considering what is essential to you.
Recent news and/or events
You can search online for the latest company news or events. This will help you understand what’s going on in the company lately. Are there any recent news that should grab your attention? Good news or bad news? Be careful, this could influence your decision. Beware of new acquisitions, mergers, layoffs, rebranding… anything that you think is worth mentioning and that can help you understand the company’s strategic directions.
3. Pay attention to the keywords used in job offers
There are specific keywords employers use in their job postings that can tell you more about a company’s culture and work environment. Watch out for certain statements when determining if a corporate culture is a good fit for you:
- Fast pace: it’s a company where there are a lot of projects and probably some pressure on deliverables and performance. It’s a good environment for someone who knows how to handle pressure, likes to multitask and likes to be challenged.
- Fast growth: this environment is the most common among startups. The business is new, so the environment is constantly evolving and so is your job position. This is the type of company where you will grow quickly. However, uncertainty can be part of the equation.
- Stable: these types of businesses provide a certain type of comfort and security. Companies like this are more traditional and follow a system of well-established procedures so your responsibilities are likely to be clearly established and recurring.
- Autonomous: this is ideal for the type of person who likes to have the freedom to manage their time, projects and how work is planned and executed. Often the profile sought is that of a candidate with a highly evolved resourcefulness.
- Team player: this term is used for roles that require almost daily interaction with different local or international teams. Strong interpersonal skills are essential as well as the desire to be part of projects that are “bigger than oneself” and that aim at a common corporate goal.
- Hierarchical: it is a company that values hierarchy and has a top-down structure. The leadership style is more traditional and directive as opposed to collaborative leadership.
- Equal: these types of companies prioritize equal opportunities over seniority. This is ideal for thinkers who wish to share their ideas and provide input.
4. Ask questions!
During the interview process, take the opportunity to better understand the company’s culture. This should help you determine whether the culture is right for you and if you can imagine working in the company for the long term.
Here are some good questions to ask:
- What does a typical day look like?
- How does your company celebrate the success or achievements of its employees?
- How does your company communicate and manage conflict?
- How do managers support and motivate their employees?
- Do you organize team activities?
5. Visit the workplace
Another way to learn more about the company’s culture is to visit the workplace during the interview process and meet some of the team members. The work environment can reveal several important elements, such as company values and communication style.
In general, if people value their colleagues and there is a culture of collaboration, you’ll notice that there is interaction even in the busiest times. If the workplace is open and there is good visibility between different departments, there is generally a high level of trust within the organization. Another aspect to pay attention to is technology. Do you have a dedicated office or is it a shared workspace? Providing laptops is usually a good sign because they give you more freedom. You don’t have to work at your desk so you can easily make a private call to a client, go to a group brainstorm or set up a meeting at the local coffee shop.
Need help with your job search process?
TALINKO takes the time to understand your needs and offers you a personalized consulting service to help you make best decisions, accompany you in your professional development and provide you with the tools you need to achieve your career goals. Our team can help you in all aspects of training and coaching, interview preparation, contract negotiation, career management and much more.
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What is the TALINKO Market? It’s a smart and innovative tool that allows you to identify the best available talents to contribute to the success of your business.
TALINKO Market for
What is the TALINKO Market? It’s a smart and innovative tool that allows you to identify the best available positions for promoting your career development.