Finding the right company for you – Researching Company Culture & Values

Matt Walkley is the Talent Acquisition Partner for our IT and Technology teams in Head Office and has 18 years of recruitment experience covering IT, Finance and Education.

Here he talks about how effectively researching company culture can help during your job search.

When you’re looking for a new role, it’s important to consider many factors. Location, working arrangements, salary, etc are all important. But perhaps one of the most important things to consider is what it’s actually like to work in a business – are their goals and values and culture in tune with your own?

So how can you go about finding information about a business before you actually work there? Thankfully with the information available on the internet these days, you can generally get a really good insight into the culture of a workplace.

Where to start?

The Company website is a great place to start your research. How does the business portray itself? What impressions do they want to give you as a potential employee?  You can find all sorts of information on a company website including what their business aims and objectives are, their history, the core values and how they reward their staff. Lots will have promotional videos and things like blogs or career stories from people that currently work in the business.  Of course, this is the business presenting the “best version” of themselves, but what’s included or perhaps not included on a company career page can tell you lots about them as a business.

Social Media

Most companies will have some kind of social media presence, both formally via official marketing channels, or from people tagging them or representing the brand in an informal way – think employees tagging themselves at the work Christmas party, or at a glitzy award ceremony. A business that’s keen to put their people “front and centre” of their social media posts is probably likely to place a high value on employee engagement and happiness. You might spot things about charity links or sponsorship, new products that really pique your interest, or just social events that people have taken part in. LinkedIn can be a great source of information, when people post good news stories regarding promotions – check the comments and engagement on posts. Do people share or recommend job vacancies – if people are recommending where they work to others, that can be a great sign. Again, you’re more likely to see a positive social media post than a negative one, but it can give you a good idea into what people like (or maybe don’t like) about a place of work.

Employee Reviews

Most businesses who really care about employee engagement and happiness will open themselves up to being critiqued, through things like internal and external reviews. You can find employee reviews on sites including Glassdoor, Indeed, Breakroom and many more. Bear in mind that a lot of these reviews can be left by “ex-employees” and sometimes there can be an agenda, but they can give you a good general insight. One word of advice, it’s worth checking that the person who left the review is working in a similar role to the one you’re interested in, otherwise you may find that it’s just not relevant to you.

Of course, you can’t know everything about a company before you work there, and you may find that your experience is different to people currently working there, or that have left. But these things really helped me personally when selecting my new role, and hopefully might have a few of you.

You can connect with Matt here for further hints & tips as well as the latest vacancies.