What do you look for in a new job? For some job seekers, maybe the goal is a bigger paycheck, simple as that. For others, the search for something new could come down to better benefits. Increasingly, however, it seems that the hunt for job opportunities is determined by culture. In fact, over half of the participants in Glassdoor’s Mission & Culture Survey 2019 said that company culture is more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction. In other words, it pays to know how to identify company culture. 

The shift towards prioritizing the right fit is changing hiring for both employers and job seekers. Organizations are increasingly turning to behavioral assessments and personality tests to get to know applicants on a deeper level. On the flip side, individuals recognize that it’s more important than ever to identify company culture and determine if a job opportunity is the right fit. 

If company culture is a deal breaker for your job search, consider these tips before making a career decision:

Research the Company’s Digital Presence

First and  foremost, the easiest way to identify company culture is to simply read what the company is saying about itself! In the world of digital media, there is no shortage of resources that can give you insight into life at a company. Start with the corporate website, paying special attention to sections like “About Us”, “Working Here” and “Purpose/Values”; these pages may lay out the goals of the organization, and what that means for the day-to-day life of employees. From there, move onto social media accounts. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can give job seekers an inside look into the culture of an organization. Pay special attention to team photos and employee testimonials; this type of employee-generated content often goes beyond traditional corporate language to give a more authentic picture of life at a company. 

Take It All In

After the online research is done, it’s time to identify company culture firsthand. The best way to experience an organization’s culture is to visit workplace in-person. This can happen through a traditional job interview, informational interviews, networking or shadowing opportunity. However you’re able to get your foot in the door, it’s important to know what to look out for during a visit. 

To get started, take note of the way the workplace is set up. Are people working together closely, or are work spaces set up for privacy? Can you get a pulse on the energy of the team? Pay attention to the pace of the office; is it more high-speed or laid back? Decorations on desks and walls – such as photos, quotes and murals – can hint to the way recognition, work-life balance and team building are approached at the organization. This is your chance to take in life at an organization for yourself!      

Ask the Right Questions

Once you’ve evaluated the workplace for yourself, it’s time to ask the right questions. Employers will have their standard questions to ask during a job interview, but applicants have the opportunity to learn more, as well. Find moments to ask your interviewer questions like, “How does your company’s core purpose guide the work that’s done here?” or, “What’s your favorite part about working here?” Focus on topics like employee engagement, professional development, conflict management and motivation. These types of questions force interviewers to go beyond day-to-day job responsibilities and share information about what the company culture is all about.  

Being able to identify company culture to determine if a job opportunity is the right fit is an important skill for thriving in today’s workforce. Beyond job responsibilities and compensation, employees are looking to connect with their work on a more meaningful level. Will you know what to look for during your next job interview?

The conversation doesn’t stop just because the article is over! Share your tips for evaluating company culture in the comments section below.