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Are You “Cultured”?

Job candidates are increasingly interested in the employer’s “culture”

➔ Job seekers are searching for a variety of things in their next positions. Salary and compensatory benefits usually come to the forefront. Not far behind are things like vacation, scheduling, opportunities for advancement, etc.

In recent years a new competitor has entered the arena: culture. Prospective employees want to know about the employer’s workplace culture.

The experts have weighed in

If you’re not certain just what makes up a company’s culture, has taken a strong swing at defining it. “…Most people look for an atmosphere that affirms their goals and values through a healthy work culture. Every workplace has a unique culture that forms over time through the interactions of the people who work there. Work culture can influence individuals and vice versa…”

What constitutes a company’s culture? According to, there are typically five basic areas of interest: accountability, equity, expression, communication and recognition. That sums it up as well as anything else we’ve found.

While it’s always a good idea to ask about culture during an interview, there are those who might cast a wary eye on the reliability of an insider from HR. So where can you get the straight scoop?

Chances you’ll learn a lot as part of your standard background search on a company. Two prime sources of the insider’s scoop are employees (current and former) as well as vendors who can bring a unique outside-in perspective on the issue.

If culture is that important to you when choosing your next landing spot, there are ways to read those tea leaves.


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