Identifying Company Culture Through Social Networks

When targeting companies in your job search, do you consider their core values and how they carry them out? A 2011 survey by and Unum revealed that the majority of job seeking respondents (87%) want to work for a company “that truly cares about the well-being of its employees.”

What is company culture?

Company culture manifests through the collective behavior and attitudes of the organization’s employees; it can also be formed through the company’s norms, habits, and values. Basically, it’s what makes a company tick. Identifying with a company’s culture is essential when applying to and accepting a position.

Why does it matter?

It’s not just getting along with your coworkers – if you find that you don’t “fit” into an organization, it can make you dissatisfied, disengaged, and leave you looking for something else before you know it. Finding out about a company’s values also gives you insight about which culture you would fit in best, whether it’s more structured/conservative or flexible/casual.

So how do you find out if you’re a good fit? Since companies have increasingly become present on social media and with corporate blogging, it’s not too difficult to begin looking there. Here’s what to look for when browsing their social media profiles:

  • Tone and Language. A good way to find this out is on Facebook or Twitter. When looking at posts, is the tone and language more laid back and informal or more structured and objective? How do they engage with followers?
  • Content. What do these companies post? Looking at their blogs, do they often tie into hard-hitting news, or focus more on lighter topics? Look at the comments as well to see how they respond to posters as well.
  • Transparency. In your considerationyou’ll want to factor in how open a company is about their employees and work style. For example, do they often feature employees’ views or updates about their projects or initiatives? Bigger companies may not be as able or open about this, so try utilizing networking and talking to current or former employees. If the company has a talent community, use it to engage with these folks and learn more.

What do you think? Do you think knowing a company’s values is important? What are some other ways to find it out? Share your thoughts in the comments below!



About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Cachinko. She is also the founder & president of Come Recommended, the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.




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