Company Culture

In order to attract the best candidates the values of an organisation are more crucial than ever before

I have come to understand that a job interview is a two-way process. That actually, just because an organisation has invited me for an interview and I liked the look of the job spec, it does not mean that it is either the role or the company for me. The kind of company, its values, its culture and indeed those of the department that I would be entering, have escalated in their significance.

As employers, we often discuss whether the candidate is the right 'fit' for the team, but how often does the candidate ask whether the team is the right 'fit' for them?

A potential employer may ask any manner of questions such as your sickness record but how comfortable would you be to ask what mental health support the organisation offers or whether health MOTs are offered to employees? It might be a contractual condition that you may be required to work from a number of different office or site locations however would you feel confident to ask if working from home would be an option for you too? This might be particularly important to you if you have a medical condition or predisposition or you have children or perhaps you have a disabled partner or parent to care for.

How often at an interview have you been offered and accepted an invitation to look around the office you would be sat in? Have you thought whether you would be happy moving from your own office to an open plan office where you touched shoulders with your colleagues? How often have you asked in an interview whether there are kitchen facilities for the workforce or whether complementary refreshments were on offer? Are any of these things important to you?

In 2016, the FRC conducted a study in the UK which explored the relationship between corporate culture and long-term business success. Sir Winfried Boschoff, Chairman of the FRC, said in his report that “A healthy culture both protects and generates value. It is therefore important to have a continuous focus on culture, rather than wait for a crisis”.

The Essence of Culture

It's not easy to define. It can be something you feel. We could say that culture can be described as the organisation's vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions. It'sthe way things are done around here, it's a shared assumption as to appropriate behaviour. It can make a company unique, it's the attitudes displayed, the repetitive habits, the...

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