Sunday 21 October 2018       info@tesladuo.com

The Importance of Company Culture When Applying for Jobs

When considering whether to apply for a position, applicants often neglect the importance of company culture. It is extremely common for new recruits to quickly realise that they have made the wrong career move, because their new employer’s culture is not one they can embrace. To enter a constructive relationship with an employer and to excel at your job, it is vital for your goals and values to be consistent with those of your employer. After all, your job has a strong impact on your self-identity, self-esteem and potential for personal growth. Studies have shown that there is a strong link between cultural fit and both mental and physical happiness.

Companies try to ensure that they hire people who will fit their company culture - a good match is beneficial for all parties involved. On average it costs roughly 2x a person’s salary to replace them; therefore, it is in the employer’s interests to ensure the new recruit is a good fit. However, a recruiter cannot necessarily discern successfully whether you are a match for the company. Therefore, it is important that you also carefully consider the extent to which your values are aligned with those of the firm.

It is important to consider the fact that there may be a schism between the aspirational values and actual values of a company. For example, in the run-up to the Financial Crisis in 2008 some investment banks, whose stated values included looking after their clients, were in fact stuffing them with toxic debt right up to the last moment. So, during your interview preparation, you need to become clear about how closely the behaviour of the firm actually matches their stated aspirational values.

Here are some examples of key things to consider when assessing a company’s culture before applying for or accepting a new job:

  • Life-Cycle
  • Innovation
  • Trendiness
  • Prestige
  • Friendliness
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Life-Cycle

Life-Cycle:

The life-cycle of a company may be anything from a glint in the eye of an entrepreneur through various phases of start-up funding, “go-go growth”, prime and moribund. You need to be clear about where on this life-cycle the firm that you are interviewing with is. You may be happy with the fast-growth, unstructured and yet-to-quite-make-it “go-go growth” firm (with all the risks that this entails). You may alternatively prepare an environment where the company is in its prime, already dominating its marketplace, but perhaps where career opportunities are fewer. Established ‘prime’ companies are likely to have high-levels of brand recognition, which may also be important to you.

Innovation:

For some people, innovation is exciting. The idea of working for a firm in which you have creative license and can create new things is an appealing prospect. However, others prefer to get comfortable with something and fully master it, rather than being in a constant state of flux.

Trendiness and Prestige:


The popularity of a company can say a lot about whether or not the firm is for you. For some, the big brand name is part of the appeal, and they enjoy working for a well-known name. Others however, may prefer to work for somewhere more humble and discreet, so it’s important to consider which category you fall into. Additionally, for some people prestige - that is to say, respect and admiration - for their employer is crucial. To feel that your company is respected, and in turn that you are respected for working there, can be a key consideration when thinking about whether a company is right for you.

Corporate Social Responsibility:

Firms which have a strong corporate responsibility also tend to be environmentally friendly and place great emphasis on internal relationships. Social justice values are of paramount importance for some people, whereas others may focus on the end-goal of making their employer money and consequently, being well rewarded. If you have a keen interest in profit, and believe it should be a company’s main or only goal, you are more likely to excel somewhere with a culture of low social responsibility.

Friendliness:

Were the people that you met at interview friendly and approachable? It’s not only the company that you have to consider, but the people that work there. Are they the kind of people that you want to work alongside? Do you think you could excel working with these kinds of people?

It’s important to not rush accepting a new job without considering the company culture. In the long-term, you are more likely to both be happier and more successful in a position where you are a perfect fit with the firm’s culture.

 
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