Submitted by: Lindsay Gray, Area Recruiting Manager
For an active job seeker, one of the most concerning elements in a job hunt is whether you will be a culture fit within an organization. Many people brush this to the side initially when other aspects of a job opportunity serve a higher level of importance at the given moment, such as compensation and benefits. While providing monetarily for yourself or your family is extremely important, in the long run it is just as important to fit in within an organization’s values, practices, and “culture.”
According to TheBalance.com, “Culture Fit” is defined as the “ability of an employee to comfortably work in an environment that is congruent with his or her own beliefs, values, and needs. […] An employee who is a good cultural fit works well in the existing workplace environment. Employees who fail to fit within the environment generally leave to find a work culture which is more congruent with their own values and beliefs.”
So what does this mean, exactly? It means that job enjoyment and the people we work with daily truly have an effect on our morale at work and in everything else we do outside of work. This is why culture fit should be a high priority on a job seeker’s list in accepting any new opportunity. If you accept a job and are unaware of the company culture beforehand, once you begin your new career you will probably find out very quickly if you are a fit or not – which can have some pretty negative results.
So why waste your time if you think that a company’s environment and values may not be a match with yours? Below are a few tips to help you find out as much information on a company’s culture as possible before accepting a position.
- Find out as much as you can before you even apply for a position.
Considering how heavily invested most organizations are with their company website and social media pages, this is an excellent first source for seeking information about their culture. Company websites should provide the mission, values, and who a company is dedicated to serving (i.e. their customers). Also, if the company has fun events, supports charities, provides company outings, etc., they will most likely be posted on their social media pages. This first investigative step will provide you with an initial temperature test on whether you can see yourself working within that organization.
- If given an interview, this is the perfect chance to ask cultural questions face to face with a hiring manager.
An interview isn’t solely for the interviewer to determine whether you are the right fit for a position. This is also a very important meeting for the interviewee – i.e. you. You are able to ask questions that can help you determine whether the company is a fit for you as well. What is the team atmosphere like? What are the team and company performance expectations? What is the most rewarding part of the hiring manager’s role? What does the hiring manager enjoy most about the company and their department? These are all just a few questions you can ask in order to gain insight on the day-to-day work environment and culture.
- Reflect on your potential new job opportunity and your current role you are holding.
There can be many reasons why you are looking for a new job opportunity or job seeking for the first time. The need for more money, lack of career growth opportunities, or lack of job satisfaction can play a huge part in someone initiating a job search. Now that you have had an interview (or several) and you are offered a position, make sure to thoroughly weigh out your decision and place culture fit as a priority in making that decision. Again, the ability to make more money or more career growth are excellent reasons to move into a new position, but make sure that the culture of the organization is just as important a factor.
Job and career fulfillment are important to every employee. Ultimately, if you find that you fit well within a company’s culture, career growth, skills advancement, and long-term job happiness will likely follow.