How to Find the Right Cultural Fit When Job Hunting

Picture the scene.

Your commission structure is great, you’ve found the sector you wanted and there’s an impressive training programme on top of it.

But – something’s off.

Company culture. It’s something everyone talks about in the recruitment industry, but what does it actually mean? And, maybe even more importantly, how can you find the right cultural fit when you’re job hunting?

We’ll dig a little deeper and explain what you should be looking for when you want to find a company’s true colours.

What is Company Culture?

Many definitions of ‘company culture’ don’t really explain much. They tend to say things about the ‘beliefs and behaviours’ of an organisation.

What does that actually mean?

A more helpful definition is to think of it more as the ‘personality’ of the company; one that defines how employees and management interact.

In short: it’s the environment you work in. This encompasses many elements, including goals, expectations, ethics and values.

Why is It Important?

When jobhunting, it can be tempting to look at the salary, brand and job role alone. However, there are many more factors that play their part in your enjoyment of working somewhere.

Let’s paint a scenario for you.

You’ve landed the role you wanted, in the sector you were hoping for. You’ve been given a good base salary and commission structure to boot.

But, you’re unhappy – and looking to find somewhere new almost immediately. Why?

If you can’t fit in with the culture, it’s likely you won’t be happy or successful somewhere. It’s a key ingredient for job satisfaction.

Those who blend well with the company achieve more and perform better in the long-term.

Decide What You’re Looking For

Sometimes, on paper, a job can seem perfect. However, many people find themselves itching to leave their role without being able to put their finger on why.

The answer is usually the environment.

So, when jobhunting, try to give yourself a sense of the type of culture you’re looking for. This might sound easier said than done, but it’s essential to have an idea.

It might be somewhere that prioritises sustainability and makes conscious ethical choices. It could be a highly sociable environment where everyone likes to drink. Or, it could be creativity. The choice is yours.

Learn from Past Experiences

One way to decide what you want is to figure out what you definitely don’t want.

Draw on experiences from the past. What made you want to leave? What didn’t you like about working there? What did you feel was missing?

Don’t Assume You Have to Be the Same

We should make this clear: don’t assume we’re saying you have to be the same as everyone else.

You can be widely different to your colleagues, yet still fit in well with the company culture. Diversity is a positive, not a hindrance.

The secret is to find an environment in which you’ll thrive.

Research, Research, Research

Wondering how to gauge the feel of a company’s culture?

Social media is a handy tool here. Take a look at what they’re posting, what they’re up to and where they’ve been.

Of course – this is looking in from the outside, but it can give you a clue into what their personality’s like. It’s handy for ruling certain companies out, if nothing else.

Ask the Questions You Want the Answers To

Don’t be afraid to probe a little in your interview. You might be the one in the hot seat, but this is also your chance to find out if this is somewhere you’d like to work.

So, what do you want to know? It could be anything from how they celebrate big wins, to how often they go out – or even how they destress.

Asking now can save you from a cultural mismatch later on.

Trust Your Gut

More often than not – it pays to trust your instincts.

Don’t just ignore anything that made you even slightly uncomfortable.

Are there any alarm bells ringing? Have you seen many negative reviews? Did you get a strange feel about the place? Did something simply seem off?

If you want to confirm your suspicions, go back online and have another dig.

Get a Tour of the Place

Want a proper feel for a company? Ask for a tour.

Pay close attention to how people interact with each other and the general mood of the place. Can you picture yourself here?

We’ll let you in on a secret – we’re here to help our candidates get a feel for a company by giving them an inside glimpse into it.

‘Around the Office in 37 Questions’ is a series that features CEOs of leading recruitment companies. We ask them a number of probing questions while they give us a tour of the office space – a way to see what the company is really all about. Plus, it might just dispel a few myths along the way.

Like the sound of that? Follow us on LinkedIn – we post full episodes regularly. As a bonus, subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss a video!

Get Someone to Help Your Job Search

Still unsure how you’ll find your cultural fit?

You don’t have to do it alone.

We’re experts at matching the right candidate to the right job, helping you find a company you’d blend well with.

In recruitment, you’re sure to find your fit – as there’s such diversity within the industry. From pin-stripe suits who smash billings all day to tech-savvy laidback Shoreditch-types, there’s a wide culture pool.

RULE placed with 116 recruitment firms in 2018 and no two were the same from a cultural view point.

Tempted? Browse our job board or upload your CV below to see what we can do for you.

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