January 15, 2024
A Guide to Understanding Company Values in Your Job Search
In a society that increasingly values meaningful connections, aligning your values with your workplace’s values is a pathway to a successful and fulfilling career. For Gen Z professionals, our research indicates that 6 in 10 consider the alignment of their personal values with those of their employer a top priority. Our research also highlights that a lack of value alignment leads to 38% of employees contemplating leaving for a more compatible workplace.
Now, let’s explore how you can actively ensure your values align with a prospective employer’s throughout the job search and interview process:
(1) Identify Your Core Values
Begin by understanding your own core values. Take some time to reflect on what matters most to you in both life and work. To offer some tangible examples, our research uncovered some popular values among Gen Z, such as honesty, balance, innovation, service, integrity, growth, sustainability, trust, and DEI. For a deeper dive into this exercise, check out this HBR article – it’s a great tool for finding, defining, and using your values. Aim to pinpoint 3-5 values that genuinely resonate with you!
(2) Research Company Values
Company Page: Explore a company’s website for insights into their values through both content and visuals that reflect what matters to them.
Career Page: Review the company’s values on their career page. For example, our culture code highlights the seven principles that guide everything we do.
Employee Testimonials: Read employee testimonials on the company’s website, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn to learn about the experiences of current and former employees
Google Search: Search the company’s name on Google to find news articles that highlight the company’s recent initiatives, partnerships, and values-driven actions.
Social Media: Check the company’s social media presence for posts on values, culture, and commitment to causes.
(3) Connect with Employees
Engage with current or former employees to gain firsthand insights into their experiences with the company. This can provide valuable information about whether the company is the right fit for you.
For example, if career growth, innovation, and impact are important values for you, you can ask employees questions like:
• How do employees make the biggest impact at the organization?
• How do innovations and ideas come to life?
• What does career advancement look like internally?
(4) Craft Strategic Interview Questions
During the interview process, remember that you are also evaluating the company. Pose questions that highlight values through real-life situations, offering a more nuanced understanding of their values:
• Can you share a recent example of how the company handled conflicts around strategy or direction?
• What qualities distinguish high performers in this organization?
• How does the company typically make decisions, especially regarding significant initiatives?
• Can you provide an example of how the company recognizes and rewards contributions?
(5) Trust Your Intuition
Lastly, trust your instincts. If something feels off during your research or the interview process, it likely is. Pay attention to your feelings when researching the company and the people you interact with.
Aligning your values with a company’s values is important to a successful and satisfying career. By taking a proactive approach to research and asking strategic questions, you can ensure that your next career move aligns with your personal values.