Company culture is a difficult thing to define, but it’s at the heart everything they do, including the environment they work in and the values they stand for. So it’s definitely something that you need to consider when looking for a job.
Finding an employer whose culture is a good fit for your personality can make a job a real joy, whereas getting it wrong can force you down a career path that doesn’t suit you.
But how can you tell what a company’s culture is like before you’ve even applied? As ever, the internet is a marvellously handy tool. Here are some useful tips.
1) The company's website
The first place to look is the potential employer’s website. Many companies, such as Innocent Drinks, go into great detail on their values and what they expect from their staff. News or blog sections can teach you what they find interesting, whilst many websites include profiles of their current staff.
In sum, a company’s website can tell you an awful lot about a company’s ethos – if it’s a good match with your own, you’re likely to find working there a lot more fulfilling. If it doesn’t sound like you’d fit in, maybe it’s a sign you should look elsewhere.
2) Google Business View
The only thing that Google Maps used to be helpful for when job hunting was finding out the length of your commute. Now, thanks to Google Business View, which is incorporated into Google Maps, you can now get a sneak peak into life at a company.
In the past, Business Views have been limited to boutique and retail businesses, but it’s now possible to take a virtual tour of office environments. Last week Sage became the first FTSE100 company to launch a Google Business View of their head office. Normally, the first chance you get to see a prospective employer’s offices is at your interview, but Sage are using the virtual tour of their headquarters to visually showcase what it’s like to work for the company. It can help you dispel (or confirm) negative myths about a company, get a sense of the office atmosphere and find out the dress code – a vital bit of information if you’re invited for an interview. Click here to see Sage's Business View or check it out below.
LinkedIn gives companies a way to interact with their workers, as well as people who are keen to join. ITV do this particularly effectively – their LinkedIn page includes links to all their vacancies and quotes from current employees on what it’s like to work there. Their profile then links out to the broadcaster’s career site, which features video interviews with current staff members – pretty handy for potential applicants!
LinkedIn can also be used to find potential connections you have with staff or former employees. If you have a connection at a company or know someone that does, reaching out to them for some insider info can help you get a real grasp on a company’s identity.
Twitter is a great way of finding out what a company finds interesting and how they want to portray themselves. When it comes to work culture, it doesn’t get much clearer than Google’s careers profile, Life at Google. Rather than simply posting vacancies, the tech giants go out of their way to show off the company’s culture by sharing photos, videos, tips and opportunities, all in a friendly and welcoming tone that immediately gets across what life is like in the company.
Few businesses will go to such lengths, but following a company you’d like to work for on Twitter can still give you great insights into their mindset. Handily, it can also give you some interesting material to talk about at interview.
About the author
This article was written by the online content team at Sage UK
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