19 Apr 5 Ways To Learn About Company Culture (Before You Accept The Job)
Congratulations! After what might have been a long search, you’ve landed a job offer and are feeling excited and relieved.
But before you accept the position, you might want to know a little more about what working for that company actually looks like. What is the company’s culture? Will you be happy working there? Will you feel supported and have opportunities to grow, both as an employee and as a person?
Here are a few ways to learn about a company’s culture before you decide to join them.
- Read reviews. Companies, like restaurants, coffee shops and anything you can buy online, are reviewed by people who have opinions and first-hand experience. Seek out reviews of the company on professional websites and platforms like Glassdoor, LinkedIn and others to see what people who have worked there have to say about the place. Keep in mind that some reviews might have been written by employees who were unhappy at the time of their review, who might have been let go. But read a few of them to see what people say, to the good and to the bad. Use those insider opinions to form your own thoughts.
- Think about what you saw and felt during the interview. If this is an in-person position, and you spent even a little time in the office while being interviewed, take a moment to reflect on what you saw. Were the employees working there skittish? Did they acknowledge you or did they keep their heads down and continued to work? Did they say hello, greet you warmly and in a friendly manner? Were people happy to see you? How did you feel when you were there? Did it seem like a welcoming, accepting place or one where people were eager to go home at the end of every day? Trust your own instincts and first impressions.
- Review the company’s website and online presence. Take a little time to scroll through the company’s website and social media accounts to see how it presents itself. Is diversity discussed? Does the company use stock images — generic photos of people who don’t work there — on social media, or are they real photos of real employees? Does the company appear to be engaged with its community through volunteerism, community events or other outreach? Are there festive looking photos of company gatherings, indicating that people are rewarded and given the chance to have fun together as a sign of appreciation? While you’re at it, run a quick search to see how the company has been covered in the news lately and what kind of headlines they made. Were they positive or negative? Did they announce a recent expansion or any other big wins, or was the company in the news for a problematic reason, like a lawsuit?
- Ask an employee. If you know someone who works at the company, ask them (when they’re not working, of course) what they like about working there, or what things they think could be improved. Someone who is actively engaged in a company’s culture, or lack thereof, will be the best source of information about what it’s really like, on a daily basis, to be part of that team. If you don’t know anyone directly, do a little searching on LinkedIn or another professional website to find someone who does work there and reach out. Explain that you’ve recently interviewed for a job and have been offered a position, but you’d like to know a little more honest information about what it’s like.
- Know what matters most to you. The bottom line is, you need to get a sense of whether you’ll be comfortable in this job, with this company. Based on all of the information you’ve been able to gather, take a moment to weigh the pros and cons based on what you value most, what matters to you, how comfortable you think you’ll be and whether what the company prioritizes matches what’s important in your life. Ultimately, that’s the only factor that matters!
Company culture is created through so many factors, including work-life balance, pay and benefits, commemoration of holidays, shows of appreciation, contributions to the community at large and how people are supported in times of need or stress. It might be hard to get a full grasp on a company’s culture from the outside, but consider these factors and the information you can collect so you can make an informed decision.
If you decide the culture isn’t what you’re looking for, that’s ok! You have other options — including working with LeadingEdge Personnel to find a different position. We work with great companies and can tell you more about their culture based on our close communication with our partners. Take a look at the jobs we’re currently working to fill and then call LeadingEdge Personnel.
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