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Tailoring your job search to company values

In our last post, we talked about positive employee behaviours, but as a job seeker, it’s also important to be sure that the company values of a potential employer resonate with your own, and that their business model suits you too.

The values that a company holds dear can be a great indicator of the way they treat their staff members and the overall culture you can expect as part of their team. This is one of the reasons why we spend time with our clients, shadowing the roles we’re recruiting for so we can help match candidates with companies that suit their personality – after all, you want a long-term relationship, not just a casual fling.

What kind of company values matter to you?

Working in an environment where you feel relaxed is essential if you’re going to settle in, perform well, and look forward to going to work in the morning. A little research and a chat with your recruitment expert will help you to discard roles that will ultimately be unsuitable for you.

Here are a few things to think about when assessing their company values:

  1. Ethics – if the environment or community-consciousness is important to you, ask about their CSR (Corporate and Social Responsibility) policy. Also, what industry do they operate in? Does it conflict with your own values, such as an oil company or cosmetics business that tests on animals?

  2. Recognition – are they invested in their staff? Do they reward hard work and long service, and recognise team/individual achievements? Feeling valued in your role will mean less stress and make you feel more motivated.

  3. Hierarchy – how is the business structured and how do management teams interact with their staff? Are they locked away in an office, or do they work alongside their teams? What are internal communications like, and do existing staff feel they can approach their superiors with issues and concerns? Does it feel like a ‘family’ or is it more formal? Do managers mingle with other staff at company events? Not being able to relate to, and work with, higher tiers within an organisation can feel uncomfortable for some people. Others prefer that distance.

  4.  Benefits – do they offer additional incentives to their employees to make life easier for them? This could be private healthcare, bonuses, flexible working, staff discount schemes, wellbeing programmes, or a really good pension.

  5. Development – some companies put a strong emphasis on professional development, and will invest heavily in training to help you take your next step on the career ladder. If you’re looking for a permanent role with opportunities for internal progression, a company that values and encourages the development of staff could be a good fit.

Ways to check up on prospective employers

Apart from a frank and honest chat with your recruitment agent, other ways you can find out about a company and its values include:

  • Look on their website for policies and company/recruitment information
  • See if they have a company LinkedIn page, and look at the profiles of current employees
  • Search online for their company name and add words like ‘employers’, ‘reviews’ to see what comes up in forums and on social media
  • Use a dedicated review website, such as Glassdoor, where you can search for ratings and comments from previous and current employees

Doing your homework is important – remember securing a new job is a two-way process, so they have to be the right fit for you, as well as the other way round.