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14 ways to research company culture

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  • 1. 14 Ways To Research Company Culture Original article by Ben Eubanks
  • 2. Before We Begin… There are no “right” answers to these questions.
  • 3. Before We Begin... Everyone appreciates different things about specific working environments, and what may appeal to you actually repulses others.
  • 4. Before We Begin... Consider what the ideal work environment would be for YOU, and filter the responses through that.
  • 5. One More Thing... Oh, and several of these methods will require you to ask unorthodox questions of the hiring manager or recruiter, but it’s the price you pay if you’re going to be serious about finding the right culture fit for you.
  • 6. Let’s Get Started!
  • 7. #1 Ask to interview an employee or two on what they enjoy about working there.
  • 8. #2 Ask for a walk-through of the office. Listen for laughs and look for smiles; that says a lot about the work environment.
  • 9. #3 Ask about previous people who held the position if you are replacing someone. Find out what they did right and what they could’ve done better.
  • 10. #4 Look at sites like Glassdoor.com for reviews by current or former employees.
  • 11. #5 Keep in mind that there are “pockets” of culture within individual departments, so the overall company culture could differ from your specific work area. (That’s why it’s important to try to do things like #1 and #2.)
  • 12. #6 Ask what sorts of behavior are rewarded and which are punished.
  • 13. #7 Ask how (or if) news that affects the company is shared. Does everyone learn of it at once or is it distributed to managers to trickle down to employees? Are they transparent?
  • 14. #8 Find out what sort of events the company holds for employees. Is it a once a year Christmas party or are there monthly opportunities to celebrate with coworkers?
  • 15. #9 Ask if there are known slackers in the office and try to find out why they are still around (good luck with this one, but if you get a straight answer, you will have a leg up).
  • 16. #10 Ask how difficult it is to get attention or funding for new ideas and initiatives. Are they a “we’ve always done it that way” type of company?
  • 17. #11 Ask what the company’s overall mission/vision is. If a random employee can tell you, it could be a sign of a strong, unified workforce.
  • 18. #12 Ask about the dress code and other abrasive policies/details that,while palatable at first, can end up chafing you down the line.
  • 19. #13 Find out if the company offers any sort of reimbursement or support for training, seminars, or college tuition. If they value smart employees who work to better themselves, they probably will.
  • 20. #14 Ask how previous employees who committed ethics violations were held accountable. (General terms are fine to protect any guilty parties, but do they even care about ethics in the first place?)
  • 21. What Else? So, what other ways do you know of that a candidate can use to discern a company’s corporate culture before deciding to take a job?