Career Advice for the Smart Job Seeker
Insights on elevating your resume, job search and personal growth
Navigating Culture Fit
What is culture fit - and why is everyone talking about it?
Culture fit is the idea that the ‘ideal’ employee possesses a set of behaviors, values, and beliefs that align with the organization’s own.
If both have similar preferences, then employees typically perform better and stay longer.
Which is why many companies put a lot of effort into defining their culture, showcasing their values, and attracting like-minded people. Finding great fits can slash their long-term hiring budget and help retain loyal, motivated workers.
If you’ve ever heard a business describing themselves as fast-paced, transparent, inclusive, challenging, progressive, and so on – that’s corporate culture. Closely linked is the image we have of a typical employee there.
To test this concept, let’s play a little game.
- Goldman Sachs
- Tesla &
When you read each of the names above, a mental image of the stereotypical ‘employee’ probably sprang to mind.
For example, if I say NASA, you might picture a nerdy, driven, collaborative person used to working hard and being passionate about very long-term end goals. Google? You’re probably imagining a brainy, youthful, casually dressed ‘Googler’ solving complex digital challenges in between ping pong and massages.
It’s not enough to assume one-culture-fits-all
When you’re looking for a new job, most people apply to anything and everything. They leave the guesswork about the company’s culture to the interview stage or beyond. Or never think of it at all.
Time and time again, it’s been proven that productivity and performance generally increase when everyone’s on the same page. You’re also more likely to stay longer if you’re working in an environment that reflects what’s important to you.
That’s why you need to assess the company’s culture before applying. What’s the point of considering a business that has a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality if you value a more relaxed approach?
Now that it’s clear why culture fit is crucial in your job search, how do you figure out which companies you’re a great fit for?
3 ways to identify the company’s true culture
1. Asses their values
Most companies publish these on their website, usually in the career portal or ‘About’ section. Their values give loads of insight into what type of culture they promote.
For example, Amazon is well-known for pushing its people to be super productive and take risks. Just doing what you were hired to do isn’t going to fly. You have to be constantly thinking about the next big idea. When you take look at their values, it’s all there.
- Customer Obsession
- Invent and Simplify
- Learn and Be Curious
- Hire the Best
- The Highest Standards
- Think Big
- Bias for Action
- Earn Trust; and
- Deliver Results
Amazon’s values scream loud and clear that they demand hard work and big results. If you’re looking for a laid-back workplace, this probably isn’t it.
2. Check out employee review sites such as Glassdoor.
These are great platforms to learn what it’s really like to work there. Of course, take the most negative and positive reviews with a pinch of salt. Look at the majority experience to get an overall feel.
3. Finally, ask culture-related questions during the job interview.
For example, ask “From your perspective, what’s it like to work here?” or “How would you describe the company’s culture?”. If the interviewer tell you, “We all work hard here, but we also play hard”, that probably means they pull long hours in a tense environment, then party hard on Friday night. Is that a great fit for you? Or would you run the other way?
By learning more about the company’s culture before applying, you could save yourself months or even years spent in an environment that won’t deliver career satisfaction.
Interested in learning more? Check out these fantastic resources by JobLeads: