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Finding a good fit: Considering workplace values and culture when applying for a job

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Finding a good fit: Considering workplace values and culture when applying for a job

BY Skillset Marketing 28 Apr, 2022

Most people looking for work have a shortlist of criteria they consider when applying for jobs. This is likely to include the type of work to be performed, the salary being offered and the location of the job, and could extend to workplace benefits such as flexible working hours, training opportunities, working from home options, paid parental leave, and even perks like gym membership. Research conducted in 2021 by PwC and Atlassian also suggests that many employees expect their employer to engage in some level of social activism and are looking for their employer to “make a difference” on issues that are important to their workforce.

Criteria used to shortlist job opportunities are developed using the personal values that candidates have. For example, flexible working arrangements can be important to job applicants who value the opportunity to achieve other responsibilities in their life and maintain some control over their work/life balance. Other candidates may be keen to continually enhance their skills at work and therefore value an employer who offers regular training to their workforce. Essentially, each job applicant will have a different set of values which influence what they look for in a job and/or employer.

Considering your personal values and ensuring these are aligned with the workplace culture and values of the hiring organisation is an important step when applying for a job. If the job you have applied for is a good fit with your values and working style, you are more likely to be happy and fulfilled at work, as well as more productive in your role.

But how do you find out the values and work culture of an organisation when applying for a job? Below are a few tips to help you with this:

Review the hiring organisation’s website

As a first step, review the website of the organisation that is hiring. Most larger companies and government organisations have a section about their values and culture on their website. Some of these even have sophisticated Employee Value Propositions – also called EVPs – that explain the range of benefits an organisation offers including the working experience, career development, wellbeing programs, remuneration and reward, and the organisation’s commitment to specific social issues.

All of this information will give you key information about how the organisation treats its employees, the skills and qualities it values, how it undertakes its activities and what it wants to achieve.

Follow them on social media

Another great way of finding out about an organisation’s values and workplace culture is to follow the organisation and its business leaders on social media. Most larger organisations post regularly on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn and you are likely to find the posts of smaller businesses on Facebook and Instagram. These posts not only provide information about the organisation’s work activities but also provide significant insight into its values and working style. For example, posts about an employee’s charity activities can highlight an organisation’s commitment to the community or a particular cause, whereas a post about a new technology purchase might demonstrate an organisation’s interest in ensuring its employees have access to the best equipment to perform their work.

Research what others are saying about them

In addition to finding out what an organisation says about themselves, it is also important to find out what others are saying about these organisations. Therefore, get on your favourite search engine and start finding out as much as you can about the organisation from credible and independent sources. The information you find should generally align with what the organisation says on their website and on social media. If not, this may present as a warning that things are not as they seem at the hiring organisation and as a result, further investigation may be required before applying for or accepting a job.

Ask questions at the job interview

Remember that a job interview is not only an opportunity to present your skills and experience, but also allows you to find out more about the role being offered. As a result, ensure you come to the interview with some prepared questions about the values of the organisation and its workplace culture.

Some questions which might help you to understand whether you are a good fit with the organisation are:

  • Can you please describe the working environment here?
  • What does work/life balance look like at this organisation?
  • What do employees value most about working here?

Finally, doing your research and asking questions at the interview should help you determine whether your values are aligned with the those of the organisation you are applying for. And remember, it is important to trust your instincts. If you get the feeling that an organisation is not going to meet your values criteria, then ask some more questions and/or choose not to apply.

Understanding your own personal values

Do you need some help working out what work values are most important to you? If so, check out this free work values quiz.

If you are keen to find out what jobs match your values, then try this free career quiz.

 

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Australia Skillset would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work.
We are honoured to be on the ancestral lands of those whose cultures are among the oldest living cultures in human history. We pay respect to the Elders, past, present and to the younger generation of the community who will be the future leaders in years to come.