With so many organisations actively hiring and wanting to attract the best talent for 2022, candidates are flooded with exciting opportunities to choose from, which is wonderful to see after 18+ months of a somewhat stagnant job market. However, the paradox of choice can often leave candidates unsure of what the best role would be for them, as there’s too much available!
What makes a company unique is its culture, from the values employees uphold to the day-to-day personality of the office. When searching for a new opportunity, we always advise our candidates (whether internally at Orbis or externally for our clients) to put culture as a deal-breaker as it’s the biggest differentiator between companies even more so than salary or even day-to-day responsibilities.
These elements are considered a lot more fluid and can be open to negotiation, but culture can’t be changed overnight, so it’s one of the most permanent elements of a new opportunity.
So, how can you find a company culture that works for you?
Write down the values that are important to you personally and professionally
We spend the majority of our lives at work, whether this is remotely or in the office, so finding a company whose culture and values are aligned to our own is the most important thing. For example, a great company culture for one person may look like ping pong tables, beers on a Friday, and company incentives that involve trips abroad and high-end dinners, whereas for others, this may be completely unappealing.
We are often led to believe that the more extravagant the culture the “better” it is, when in reality you need to find somewhere that is aligned to your personality as well as the values you uphold in your day-to-day life. This will create better synergies between work and home and also enable you to connect with like-minded people who share those views.
The best way to figure out what is critical to you is to write it down and split it into personal and professional. From there, understanding why you’ve chosen those values can help you to ask questions in an interview scenario to see whether the culture of the business matches up.
Read Glassdoor reviews (and take it with a pinch of salt)
Although interviews are a great way for you to determine whether a company is right for you, it’s also essential to do external research online to see what has been said by current and ex-employees. Glassdoor is a great way to do this, and it will give you food for thought which you can then explore in an interview scenario.
Our tip is to take reviews with a pinch of salt (whether they’re positive or negative) and use them as a way to build up a better picture of the organisation that you’re interviewing at.
Ensure that the culture is right now (not that it could be right in the future)
Although having an understanding of the long-term goals of the business is a great way for you to decide whether the ambitions of the organisation matches up with your own, it’s important to not fall in love with potential, but instead, take the current company culture at face value.
When interviewing, each company will present itself as best possible, as well as run you through all the plans they have from a technical and commercial perspective.
For example, if D&I is essential to you and the culture of the business is not reflective of your needs right now, then you should take that at face value over what the potentials could be. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should completely write off an organisation if they aren’t 100% aligned, but taking each opportunity at face value should be front of mind to ensure that you aren’t taking 10 steps back when joining somewhere new.
In summary, searching for a company culture that matches your personality and long-term goals is going to feel like a challenge at times, and you may not get it right the first time! However, if you seek advice, educate yourself, and ensure to make informed decisions, then you’ll have a much better chance of finding a company that will enable you to propel you forwards, professionally and personally.
For more information about company culture and bringing your true self to work, check out our free D&I in the workplace handbook, available to download now.