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Reverse cultural fit? How to find an employer that shares your values

 6th Apr 2022

Culture fit is talked about a lot when job seeking but finding the right fit for our own personal values is discussed much less.  

Culture defines the work environment, but values show how companies prioritise, guide decisions, and reconcile conflict. Working for a company that shares your values can help you find meaning in your work and improve your overall motivation and job satisfaction.  

If you’re looking for a job that aligns with your values, here are W&A’s top tips: 

Identify your values 

To know what to look for in an employer, you need to understand what you value. Are you looking for a diverse and inclusive company? A company that prioritises learning and development, or maybe one that prioritises staff wellbeing? 

Make a list of your preferred values and attributes as this will help you to spot the language on, organisation websites, job advertisements and in interviews that aligns with your wants. You may also wish to take a personality test, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, to understand more about what you value.  

Expand your searches 

The big-name, well-known companies do a great job of communicating their employer branding messages. As a result, a lot of job seekers are drawn to these companies — but different businesses can offer different benefits, so you may wish not to rule out any sizes or sectors, and instead judge each firm individually. Likewise, many businesses may live your sought-after values but don’t publicise that they do – therefore actively engaging in interview processes is an excellent way to learn about an employer's values and culture.  

Do your research 

Before pursuing an opportunity, look on the company’s website and social media pages to determine its values, or what you perceive to be their values! Many companies use social media to talk about their products or services, commend their employees and share milestones or news. It can also be telling if a company does not have a social media presence. LinkedIn is an especially valuable social media tool for researching company values as many organisations use the platform to showcase what it’s like to work there.  

While a company’s website and social media are a good place to start, not every company truly lives and works by its stated values. Using websites such as Glassdoor can be useful in determining if the values listed on a company’s website line up with recent reviews from employees.  

The best insight about a company comes from the people who work there. Reach out to people that you know in a company and talk to people in your industry who know about the company you’re considering. That way you can ask pertinent questions and confirm your impressions. 

Confirm alignment during the hiring process 

As you make your way through the hiring process you want to confirm that your values align. Look and listen carefully for examples of values during the hiring process and interviews. 

For example. does the hiring manager get back to you as promised? Are you getting consistent information from everyone? If honesty and timeliness are important to you, and the hiring manager doesn’t meet a deadline or seems to be holding something back, there might be a misalignment there. 

If you make it to the interview stage, be sure to ask your interviewer questions about the company culture and values. You may want to query their approach to learning & development, leadership and management styles, or what qualities the company values in a team.  

Their answers, and the way they answer, may give you key insights. Does the interviewee speak about the values naturally, or does it sound rehearsed? Can the interviewee recall the values quickly and refer to tangible examples of how they are demonstrated? 

Asking open-ended questions targeted toward the values that are most important to you can help you determine whether a company aligns with you before you accept an offer.  

To find a job that aligns with your values, start with the company. Do your research, take the opportunity to ask questions, and know what you’re looking for.  

When W&A are assisting your search, we will enquire about your values and what you expect from a company to ensure any given opportunity is a good match. If you have any questions for our experts on finding the right role for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch

Written by Nathalie Smyth. 


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