Examiner Employment Advisory Board 

Question: How do I find out more about the culture of a company before I accept an offer? I want to work for an employer who walks the talk and stands behind the claim that they treat employees like "their #1 asset".

Robin Carlen-Murray

Career Coach and Consultant

Robin Carlen-Murray has worked in Human Resources, Recruiting, O.D. and Training in a variety of industries, including Medical Device, High-Tech, Healthcare Systems, Recruitment and the Airlines. She is the owner of Catalyst Career Consulting in San Mateo, CA

A: Cultural fit is more important than people may realize. If you love your job but the company doesn’t value how people are treated, how long will you be happy? Use the internet to do research. Talk with other people, particularly former or current employees. You can do a search of people to contact by company on www.linkedin.com. If possible, speak with customers. When interviewing, ask questions about the culture. Pay attention to your gut, which can tell you a lot.

Richard Stiller

OD/HR Consultant

Rich Stiller has held executive management positions for a variety of high tech companies, from start-ups to multinational organizations such as Sun Microsystems and Electronic Arts.

A: It is important that you, the interviewee, ask questions about the culture in the interview. Most prospective employees focus on answering the questions asked of them and don't focus on what they need to know to insure a better job fit. Simply asking a question about what the culture in the company is like and seeing how employees respond to it can tell you loads.

Randy Block

Staffing Consultant & Executive Coach

Randy Block brings years of expertise in executive search and is a certified career and retirement coach.

A: It is very wise that you check this out. We know that there is more to the company than pay and benefits. Ask the organization about their Employee Value Proposition. Do they promote from within? Are the employees having a good employment experience? Does the organization understand the employee’s needs with regards to career, family, education and community? Request that you talk with your peers to get the answers.

Ron Visconti

Managing Partner

Peninsula Employment Group, LLC

Ron Visconti has assisted job seekers and career changers through recruitment events, career transition projects, career counseling, and workshops. He founded and ran a non-profit career center.

A: Corporate culture goes beyond annual reports and brochures. Google the company to see what is said about them. Speak to potential co-workers, friends and colleagues to find about the company. Identify how you work and the kind of corporate setting that is right. What’s their management style? Are company policies fair? Do they promote people? How are layoffs (if any) handled? It is not what they say, but what they do.

Rosanna Ortisi

Manager, Talent Acquisition

Abbott Diabetes Care

Rosanna Ortisi has extensive experience in staffing/recruitment for a variety of Fortune 500 companies, as well as executive search expertise, specializing in emerging, high-growth companies.

A: Make a point to ask everyone you interview with about the culture - ask them how they would describe it and compare it to other companies that they have worked at. If you have friends or colleagues or associates that work for the company ask them. Go online - check out blogs, chat areas - you can find out quite a bit about a company via Yahoo Insider Information and other similar sites.

About The Author

Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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