Company Culture Important To Job Search.
You’ve been so focused on finding a job and acing the interview that you may have overlooked a crucial question: Would you be happy working there? Company cultures are not created equal, and sometimes, the wrong job can be just as bad as no job, said Scott Kriscovich, president of TrueBridge Resources, an Atlanta professional staffing, direct hire placement firm.
Before you accept an offer, put on your Sherlock Holmes cap to detect the underlying culture of your prospective employer. “If you do your research, use your senses and ask the right questions, the signs are everywhere,” Kriscovichsaid.
Read what the company website has to say about its history, mission and values, and do a Google search to see what’s said about it in the media.
“If a company has a bad reputation these days, it will be on the Internet,” said Margot King, vice president of Recruiting Solutions for ZeroChaos, a global recruitment and outsourcing company. Check the chatter on http://www.glassdoor.com, http://www.vault.com or http://www.wetfeet.com, but read with an open mind. Former employees may have sour grapes.
Use your social media connections on LinkedIn and Facebook to read about companies and talk with employees. “If you know recruiters, ask them, or call the company and ask to speak to someone in sales. Salespeople like to talk. Tell him you are interested in working there and ask him to tell you about the company,” Kriscovich said.
“Pay attention to how you are treated in the interview. Is the interviewer present or distracted? Do you feel welcomed and are you kept informed throughout the process?” Kriscovich said. “Does he answer your questions and address your concerns?”
If you’re speaking to multiple people, notice if their message is consistent. “If so, that’s a sign that people are on the same page and communicating,” he said.
Ask to speak to someone who has held the job formerly or has a similar job to get a better sense of the work and what made her successful, King advised.
“If you’re turned down, that’s a red flag,” she said. “So is the hiring manager being excessively late for an interview. Companies, like people, can have good manners or bad manners.” It says a lot when a company is gracious and hospitable.
Kriscovich advocates trusting and testing your “gut” reactions. “Your ‘gut’ is merely all your life’s experiences coming out, but to question your feelings, bounce them off a colleague,” he said.
“Is the workplace alive with activity or silent and formally structured? Neither culture is wrong. The point is, would you fit well in that environment?” said Sheila Margolis, president of the Workplace Culture Institute, in Atlanta, and co-author of “There’s No Place Like Work” (Gibbs Smith, 2006).
Notice employee interactions. Are faces smiling, serious, stressed out? Are management doors open or shut? Where do workers meet? “Ask questions about the space. Our office is at maximum capacity right now and we’re crowded, but it’s a good news story. We’re growing and moving to new facilities,” Kriscovich said.
“Always ask the interviewer to discuss the company culture, values and principles,” he said. Ask why he works there, what he likes about it and doesn’t, and what he would change if he were CEO. Can he openly discuss strategies, goals and financial situations with the management, or does he just do his job? “There aren’t any right or wrong answers, but the information you gather will help you make a better decision,” Kriscovich said. “Culture always matters. It affects how you like and do your job.”
To determine if the culture is a good fit, job seekers should consider three questions, Margolis said. “What is the cause and purpose of the company and is that meaningful to me? What are the values of the company and are they a match for my own? And what is the actual work that I’d be doing and does it match my strengths and provide challenge and a sense of accomplishment?” she said.
When the culture and job fit your own values and work goals, there’s a sense of harmony and connection. “It means you can be who you are and excel at what you do,” Margolis said. Source: Laura Raines for the AJC.