We've all heard different variations of the saying "if it's too good to be true, it probably is," and often apply it to many of life's situations.
I think this saying particularly resonates with job seekers who put value in company culture when looking for their next career.
The truth is there is no foolproof way to tell if a company can back up everything it says about its wonderful culture and values. But, there are steps that job seekers can take to arm themselves with as much information as possible, and make the best possible career decision.
Keep in mind every individual has different expectations, and just because a company didn't meet one person's expectations, doesn't mean it's not meeting the expectations of the majority of the workforce.
Here are four easy ways to find out if a company is really committed to its culture.
Read The Reviews
Job board sites like Comparably, Glassdoor, and Indeed don't necessarily tell a company's whole story, but they can provide you with some insight into what it's like to work at a company.
These sites typically provide job seekers with a rating or grade on things like company culture, pay, benefits, and job interview process. These sites can also tell you how many awards a company has won for its culture or other initiatives. Perhaps most importantly, these sites contain employee reviews.
It's important to remember that you can't take every review at 100% face value, because every employee experience will be different, especially at large companies.
Sometimes the most helpful reviews are the well-thought-out ones that are somewhat down the middle (not too positive or negative). In these cases, employees aren't necessarily trying to push an agenda, but are instead trying to give objective feedback about the company, the good and the bad.
This doesn't necessarily mean you should ignore overly negative or positive reviews. It's just important to try to keep things in context.
Another thing to consider is how often an official with these companies responds to these reviews, and how they respond. This can potentially offer great insight into how concerned the company is about its image, and how it deals with negative feedback.
Learn About The Company's Employer Brand
Let's say "Company A" has a job posting for a project manager and the posting goes on to brag about the company's amazing culture and values. Sounds great, doesn't it? However, upon further review, you're unable to find supporting materials about this culture on the company's website and social media accounts.
This is a potential red flag that the company's culture isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
Companies that are really focused on their company culture and employee experience put a lot of effort into employer branding. Employer branding is a company's effort to tell its story and promote its brand. Good employer branding can make a company look desirable, therefore helping recruitment efforts by attracting talented job candidates.
A company with good employer branding will:
- Have multiple examples on its website about what makes its culture and values stand out.
- Have multiple posts with pictures and video of its culture in action on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
- Have third-party credibility: companies that are exceptional are often featured in the media, trade publications, or relevant third-party websites.
This is just some of the basics of good employer branding, but needless to say it's a bad sign if you can't find any of the above examples for the company you're researching.
Reach Out To Your Network
Hopefully you're already leveraging your network if you're on the job search. And, while you're at it, networking is another great way to learn about a company's culture.
Reach out on LinkedIn to those who work at the company you're interested in. Tell them you're doing research about the company and would love to talk with them about what it's like to work at the company, and what it takes to work at the company.
Not everyone will respond to your request, but those who do typically like sharing their personal experiences to help others.
Go To The Source
#stitch with @leileikaleilei 2 WAYS TO ASK ABOUT COMPANY CULTURE #companyculture #dreamjob #work #workplace #interviewtips #interviewquestions #jobs
If you applied to a company and landed a job interview, then chances are your initial research about the company alleviated most of your concerns about its culture. However, you do get an opportunity to ask questions during the interview, and this is a great opportunity to learn more about the company culture and values.
Take an example of something that you learned about the company's culture in your research and follow up with the hiring manager about it.
"You talk about the importance of flexibility as being essential to your company culture. Can you give me a recent example of something that happened at the company that really validates that?"
With this question, you're asking for an example that proves they stand by their company culture.
Another sneaky good question that reveals a lot about a company's culture is, "Can you tell me about one of your most successful employees and what makes them successful?"
If the answer includes an employee who takes on a lot of extra work and puts in well over 40 hours a week, that could indicate the company's values are only grounded in work, rather than the combination of work, creativity, character, and culture.
By employing the above four strategies in your company research, you'll be well on your way to making an informed decision about your career and finding a company that matches your values.
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