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Assessing Company Culture Before You Accept a Job

By Bonnie Johnson, AgCareers.com

 

A positive work culture is the top-rated tactic ag employers use to compete with other employers for candidates. Employers know it’s key to attracting and keeping top employees. But from the candidate perspective, how do you truly assess it? How do you discover the true company culture, not just what the employer wants you to see?

Word-of-Mouth

The most honest and accurate depiction of company culture comes from those who are or have been there-- other employees. Use your network to find current or prior employees to connect with and ask about the organization. The employer will probably check out your social networks, so do the same! Read online reviews of the employer too.

Firsthand

Explore the company’s website to discover their vision and mission statements. The potential employer may also share this information in the job posting or during the interview. Scout out the company on social media and in the news– are they carrying out their mission?

Did the employer effectively communicate the hiring process details and length, interview procedure, follow-up expectations, and job offer? Our research shows that communication during the hiring process has the most influence on the candidate’s experience. Behind only communication, the interview process is the second most influential candidate experience. How do you assess company culture during the interview? The culture of the organization should be recognizable during the interview, like an overlying theme encompassing the questions, comments and interactions that take place.

Company Culture: Asking Questions

 

  • Ask the interviewer about their experience as an employee; how long have they been with the company? What is their favorite aspectof working there?
  • Was the interviewer knowledgeable, asking relevant questions? Did they describe how the role you’re interviewing for fits into and affects the organization overall? If they didn’t, ask!
  • Did the employer provide a tour of the office or facilities? If they didn’t, ask for one!
  • Did the employer introduce you to potential coworkers? If they didn’t, ask to meet them.
  • Did the potential employer give and ask for your feedback? If they didn’t, ask more questions. Get a feel for their openness to feedback, input, and employee involvement.
  • Did the interviewer say, “thank you” and express gratitude for your time? Make sure you’ve expressed your thanks as well.
  • Especially when it comes down to the job offer and acceptance, potential employers should be forthcoming with benefits, perks, and company culture discussions. If they aren’t, ask more questions!

 

For details on evaluating job offers, check out this AgCareers.com article in our archives.

Article Research Resources:

 

2019-2020 U.S. Agribusiness HR Review

 

2019-2020 Canadian Agribusiness HR Review

 

2018 Candidate Experience Survey Analysis