Rutherford Cross looks at the importance of culture fit in job satisfaction, and how to ensure you get it right

There are many things to look at when considering a new role.  Salary, location, remit, and seniority, are all important, but there is one factor that can be truly make or break, and that is culture fit.

The culture of a company is derived from a variety of elements, including work environment, company mission, values, ethics, goals and objectives.

Corporate culture manifests in how a company conducts its business, treats its employees, customers, and wider community.  It is also reflected in the hierarchy of power, information flow and decision making within a business, and how committed employees are to the company’s objectives.

Essentially finding the right ‘culture fit’ means finding an organisation where you can work alongside like-minded people in a company that shares your values and attitudes.  It can take time to work out exactly what this means for you, so here are some of our top tips on how to define your culture fit.

What’s important to you?

Before embarking on a job search, it’s important to ascertain what is important to you as an employee.  Do you want to work somewhere that fosters creativity and independence, or find an employer that values sustainability? Or is a culture where employees are given access to additional training, rewards, and other perks of utmost importance?

Do your research

Take some time to do your research into any potential employer.  Look at their website and social media channels.  What language do they use?  How do they interact with customers?  What are their employees saying? Look at their LinkedIn profiles for tone and content shared.   Speak to your recruitment consultant.  What do they know about the culture of the business?  If they have been working with them for a while, they should be able to provide you with some good insight.

Ask the right questions

Having established what’s important to you, and doing your background research, an interview offers you the perfect opportunity to delve deeper into an organisation’s culture. When preparing beforehand, identify a couple of questions that directly relate to the values and culture that are important to you, in addition to questions relating to the specific role you are in the running for.

You might want to ask a question relating to environmental policy, or on flexible working opportunities. You may want to find out more about the diversity of the organisation at board level, or what the employee bonus and benefits structure is.

Trust your gut!

At the end of the day, your instincts as good a reason as any to decide on your fit with an organisation. If after having met your potential employer, asked the right questions, and done your research, you still don’t get a good feel for the organisation, it may be better to look for your next opportunity elsewhere.

All of us aspire to finding the role that meets our needs both professionally, and personally.  By following our tips and working out what you are looking for from an organisation’s culture, as well as understanding your professional aspirations, you are well on your way to job satisfaction.