When making a career move most of us are more concerned with how we will be evaluated by the employer rather than examining the culture of the company we may go to work for. This is especially true in the current economy where job seekers outnumber job openings by as much as 8 to 1; and employers have become ultra-picky in their selection processes. Careful evaluation of a company’s culture is critical if you want to improve your chances of career fulfillment. Here are some criteria to think about when evaluating company culture.
7 steps to evaluate company culture:
1. Are the company’s values in sync with yours? If you care deeply about working in a respectful work environment and the company has a reputation for mowing down its own people in the process of getting products to market, this may not be a good place for you to work. Does the organization truly care about its people or does it have the reputation of being a ‘sweat shop’?
2. Does the company’s definition of ‘culture’ make sense? Make sure the culture aligns with the company’s
business model and strategy. If they care about customers, employees, partners and vendors, chances are the
organization understands the value of company culture.
3. What does annual turnover look like? You will have to do your homework here. For larger companies check out the recent article in CNN Money . You should also use your network to find people in the company who can share this information with you. High turnover can be a symptom of a dysfunctional company and a stressful work environment. Do your research.
4. Are the interviewers stewards of the company’s culture? Do the people you meet during the interview process ask questions around company values? If they don’t, chances are the company does not have a core set of values upon which they run their business. Driscoll Strawberry Associates, Inc is a company that is very values driven as evidenced by their website. www.driscolls.com
5. How are you treated during the interview process? Did everyone you meet smile or ask if you had been helped
or acknowledge your presence in some way? Or were you simply ignored? Happy employees typically will go out of
their way to help visitors. This can tell you a lot about the culture and overall morale of the people who work there. If no one smiles chances are it’s not an enjoyable place to work.
6. Is the interview a 2-way conversation? Were you grilled during the interview without being given the opportunity to ask questions? The interview should be a two way engagement between you and the interviewer.
7. What organization drives the business? Some companies are engineering/development driven, while others are marketing or sales driven. Finding this out before you accept an offer can make the difference between being
frustrated in your job or being a happy camper.
Much of the information you need to determine a company’s culture can be found through social media networking
sites such as Linkedin and Twitter as well as Glassdoor.com. Check out Linkedin’s special interest groups to hear
what people have to say about the organizations they work for. www.glassdoor.com provides a list of best places
to work, as well as reviews and salary information for thousands of companies. The information is posted by
current and former employees as well as job seekers. Get the information you need to manage your career and make
more informed career decisions. Follow us on Twitter.