Life is what you make it. But in order to make it into what you want, you need to understand what is important to you. For me, as I embarked on my journey from my hometown in New Jersey to a new life as a recruiter in CT, I knew what I wanted in a move. Career aside, I wanted to experience city life. I wanted to live somewhere where I could wake up and take a 5 minute walk to get a fresh brewed cup of coffee or go grab a greasy slice of pizza at night (which happens to be amazing in New Haven!).
I wanted to be in a lively area, where I could meet up downtown with friends for a happy hour drink at a happening bar, or check out a local museum …you get the idea.
The same can be said when choosing the right type of company and culture to work for. As a technology recruiter, I understand firsthand how crowded the technology space is, with new companies and positions constantly emerging. In addition to the crowded landscape, unemployment is below 5%. It is a very candidate-centric market. People have options. As a professional, what should you consider when you have options and can’t pick between company “A” and company “B”? … At times the big differentiator is company culture. Here are a few reasons why:
1) Happiness = Productivity
This may not come as a shock to many--several studies have shown that employees who are happy with their companies and what they are doing are more productive in their work. More productivity from employees means the organization is working faster and more efficiently, which in return equals increased profit to the company and employee.
2) A company’s culture should match YOUR culture
After several years in your profession, I’m sure there are several key qualities you enjoy about your job that speak to your personality. I knew I wanted to live in a city with roommates, but I spent some time asking them what they liked most about city living, to get a better understanding if my personality would fit with theirs. The same can be said while interviewing for a job. Don’t be afraid to ask your interviewer simple questions such as what they like most about their own job and the company. This type of personal question will not only help build rapport, but also give you a sense of what kind of environment you will be walking into.
3) Freedom with support
Managers understand part of their responsibility is to create an environment where their team can thrive. This requires a tough balancing act between allowing a level of freedom and being there to provide support. It is the candidate’s due diligence to ask the right questions to figure out how much autonomy and support they will receive. A common question I get asked from software sales executives is, “what kind of support system will I have?” It is a great question, one that can mean a variety of different things, from how effective the pre-sales team is, to technology resources, or management style.
As a recruiter, I like to spend extra time reviewing what the culture is like in my client’s office and what kind of culture my candidate is looking for, in order to help figure out a perfect marriage. I want to make sure that if the candidate likes greasy pizza, that the company (my client) can offer a nice slice, right down the road… And having the right candidate on their team might just make their “pizza” that much better.