Is the Culture Right For You?
By Tiro Talent Services
You may have heard recruiters talk about culture but what does company culture mean to you?
In corporate speak culture means the philosophy, values, behavior, dress codes, etc., that together constitute the unique style and policies of a company. In a top ten most important things in your job search this should be second only to salary. The culture is part and parcel of how employees treat each other, how the day to day is run within a business and the physical working environment that you are subjected to.
Culture can have a massive impact on how much job satisfaction you get from your role.
As you go about your job search try and highlight the clues as to the company’s culture in their adverts. Lots of companies today use blogs, Vlogs and lives for example to make them more personable and to bring them to life. Its is in fact easier now than it has ever been to gage a company’s culture from the information that is on the internet. However, it goes without saying it will be at interview stage that you will really get a good feel for the company’s culture.
Think back over your work history and think about the things you didn’t like about your past roles. Did you get on with the people around you? Were they target driven? Did they act differently when a member of the management team walked by? Did they embrace and work cohesively with the management team? How did people get promoted within that organisation? How did they celebrate success?
At Tiro we always tell our candidates an Interview is a 2-way street? When you visit an office look around at the people you pass by on the way in. What are they wearing? What is their demeanor like. Do they look relaxed or stressed out?
When an interviewer asks if you have any questions use this to question them on the culture for example:
• What do you like about working here?
• What do you wish was different about working here?
• How often do people get promoted? Why do they get promoted?
• What do you do when you have a problem with something?
• How do you get things done as a team?
As your interviewer answers, look out for emotional responses such as excitement or discomfort, its very easy to spot if someone is telling you the truth or what they want you to hear!
Every culture has pros and cons, and not every company—even the popular ones—will appeal to every person. Be secure in your own values and know what works for you.
The working environment
Think back to your past working environments. What kind of office layout did you work best in? I have found that I am much more productive in my own space rather than an open plan office.
As you look around the office, notice the break areas. Are they clean? Does the company offer coffee & tea? Does it look like the common area, if there happen to be any, used?
Ask your interviewers what they do when they need to take a break. The best companies know that creativity is inspired by physical activity, and they encourage responsible break time. That pendulum can swing too far in the other direction, with free beer, pool tables and little focus on customer needs. If you’re the sort of person who takes pride in doing a good job and satisfying customers, some corporate cultures may be too laid back for you. These are all things you need to consider.