#AskColliers: Talent Edition

Culture is a word that is mentioned A LOT in the business world. But what does it really mean? And why is it important?  

What is company culture?  

Organizational culture is formed on the basis of shared values and beliefs. Members of an organization derive those values from mutual assumptions regarding human nature, emotions, effectiveness, and their organization’s connection to its environment. Every company’s culture lives, breathes and evolves. A healthy culture is essential to a company’s success. Simply put, culture is what a company stands for, which guides how its employees behave.  

The Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) revealed in a 2017 survey that company culture was the number one reason candidates picked one job over another.  

Undeniably, culture is important when finding a job, but you may be wondering how to determine aspects of a company’s culture without working there. More importantly, how you’ll know if a company’s culture will fit your personality and needs. The good news is, you can learn about a company’s culture by investing a small amount of time in conducting your own research. Here are some tips to help you uncover the information you need to determine the “right cultural fit” for your next job. 

How to find a company with a good culture 

Don’t wait until you’ve been offered a job to look into its culture. Your investigation should begin while you’re job hunting. Make a point to learn about the workplace culture of every company you are seriously considering working for. It’s important to know if your own values and beliefs will align with the cultures of companies that interest you.  

Your first step is easy. Most organizations feature some combination of their mission, vision and values on their website. You should find that page and read it thoroughly. Ask yourself, Do these beliefs and values align with my own? Do I believe in the company’s mission and purpose?  

Then, you’ll want to spend some time on company review websites, such as Glassdoor. For free, Glassdoor will provide you with insights into a company through employee reviews. They boldly showcase the good, the bad and the ugly. There’s nothing hidden behind closed doors (hence the name). It’s important to know how current and past employees view the organization and its culture.  

To really understand a company’s culture, be sure to check the news and other social media channels for organizational updates and key events.  

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that not all cultures are going to work for you. Some will align with who you are and what’s important to you, and others will not. Your sole task is to find those cultures that fit you best. 

How to ask about company culture in an interview 

Great news! There are ways to learn even more about a company’s culture during the interview process.  

Do you know anyone who works at that company? Are you getting to know people during the recruitment process?  These casual conversations happen, perhaps in an elevator or lobby. Or perhaps, given our newly accelerated virtual working environment, it could be a conversation with the recruiter or the receptionist booking your appointment. If you have the chance, simply ask, “What do you like about working here?” and “How would you describe the company culture”? Ask multiple people during the process; the more perspectives, the better.  

Next, be sure to ask culturally related questions in your interviews. Take the time to ask questions that highlight specific elements of the culture in your interviewers’ eyes, such as “What does success look like here” or “what are some of the traits that you look for in a successful candidate?” 

Then consider the information and answers that have been shared with you. Do the answers align with the culture you’re looking for? For example, if everyone you met said it’s a very fast-paced, dynamic environment, is that the pace you’re seeking? It’s important to connect the dots between what you’re hearing and your own wants and needs in an organization.  

What are Colliers’ Values?  

At Colliers, I have had the pleasure of working in an environment that I thrive in, with values and a purpose that align with my own. Colliers allows me to invest in relationships, which is in my blood. It’s the core of who I am. I love to connect with others, find a common purpose, and develop those connections to drive toward success. When I was interviewing with Colliers, the stories I heard from employees really resonated with me. 

The Foundation for Everything 

I asked Colliers’ Canadian President and CEO Brian Rosen what attracted him to Colliers. “Colliers has strong values, and those values align with what I value,” he replied. “Collaboration, being the expert, investing in relationships, doing what’s right, and being enterprising — those all align with key competencies and behaviors that I believe have enabled me to be successful.”  

Then Brian added, “The fact that we elevate those principles and demand that our people live them daily was important to me, as values are the foundation for everything we do and should be infused into our work.” 

If Colliers’ mission and values resonate with you, why not consider joining us?  We have roles available in all our business lines and corporate teams across North America. Check out our job postings here