Workers want more out of a job these days – and not just in salary and benefits. A Glassdoor survey revealed that 77 percent of job seekers consider company culture even before they apply for a position.
With that in mind, how do you determine a company’s culture before you’ve actually begun working there? Keep these things in mind.
What Should You Research About a Company’s Culture?
Know What You Want
The only way to know where you’d fit in best is to understand the work environment you find most comfortable. Is a casual atmosphere important? Do you resent being micromanaged? Do you thrive as part of a team? Are you hoping for flexible hours or work locations?
Recognize what type of corporate environment motivates and fulfills you and consider details that impact your work-life balance. Then you can begin to narrow your focus to companies that look like a good culture fit.
Study the Job Description
When reviewing the job description, “be sure to read between the lines,” says Fast Company. “Analyze how a company describes the job you’re considering.” For instance, a job description that uses words like “results-driven, dominant, competitive, leader,” might reflect a more high-powered environment than you seek.
Research the Company
It’s always a good idea to research a company before an interview. However, if you’re looking for a specific corporate culture, your research should start even before you submit a job application.
Study the tone of the company’s website and social media for clues. Do they address any culture issues directly? Do they celebrate employee achievements? Do your values align?
Check Google News for recent information about the company.
There are plenty of online resources that can advance your research, including LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and TrustPilot. Employee and former employee testimonials can be valuable, but also potentially misleading. Remember that staff with complaints tend to leave reviews more often than those who are content.
Find Connections Who Work There
You may gain a more accurate view of the company by talking directly to people who work there. Scour your professional network for anyone who is familiar with the company.
“If you don’t know anyone already, look for connections on LinkedIn, and ask if they’d mind sharing their thoughts on their work and the organization,” says The Muse.
If you decide to reach out to someone in the organization whom you don’t know, be professional. Whatever you say could get back to HR.
Ask Questions During Your Interview
You can ask your interviewer to describe the corporate culture, but don’t be afraid to tease more information out of them with additional questions.
Observe the Work Environment
If your interview is in person, observe the office during your walk to the interview room and any tour that’s provided. Do people seem happy to be there? Are their work areas impersonal looking? Are employees eating lunch at their desks? How do they interact with you and each other?
Bonus if you’re invited to talk to your potential teammates. Ask for their impressions about the company, work environment and supervisors. Note if the staff seems energetic, talented and motivated.
Trust Your Instincts
It’s okay to be cautious if something doesn’t feel right. “Adopt a mindset that is positive but also skeptical,” recommends Harvard Business Review.
You’ll spend a lot of time in the office working with these people. Knowing all you can about the culture of the company can help guide you toward a work environment you’ll find comfortable and productive.
Work with a Professional
Finally, consider contacting a recruiter for additional help with your job search. The professionals at Pro Resources Staffing Services are familiar with their clients’ work environments and can help find a position that’s a good fit.