When the average person thinks of life working at a tech company, images of buildings…
With record unemployment rates, more people than ever are searching for new opportunities. However, just because so many people need jobs doesn’t mean that a jobseeker shouldn’t be discerning about the type of company they align themselves with. We speak with dozens of candidates a day, many of whom have found out too late what a company’s culture is like. So how can a candidate find the right company for them while searching? You’ve heard a million times what questions to ask in an interview to signal to the hiring manager that you are a great fit, but what about questions to see if the company is a good fit for you? Here are some questions we have compiled for jobseekers to ask during their interviews to find out whether or not a company signals inclusion or if equity is just something they throw out in a statement.
What is the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion?
If a company has been one that has posted a statement about solidarity with Black Lives Matter but has not offered concrete steps to follow up on their diversity and inclusivity, that is a red flag. Many companies are being held accountable for their complicit non-actions regarding inclusivity. Equity inside companies requires constant accountability and transparency. Do they have a diversity task force? What are their recruiting habits? What percentage of people of color and women are in leadership roles? The way a company treats it’s most underrepresented employees effects all of it’s employees. Countless studies have proven that the more diverse a team is, the more productive, inventive, and profitable the company is.
How does the company treat its clients and customers?
One can tell a lot about a company by its relationship to its clients and customers. A company cannot exist without the people who pay its bills; its clients and customers. Similarly, a company cannot exist without the labor of its employees. If a company treats customers as expendable, does not follow through with guarantees or does not treat those relationships with respect and tact, then what would motivate a company to do the same for it’s employees?
What is the company’s commitment to community?
You can tell a lot about the company’s ethics by its commitment, or lack there of, to the community it operates in. If a company frequently gives back and makes decisions with the impact of the community in mind, this is a company with sustainable values and a purposeful mission and is more likely to treat their own employees with the same reverence. On the other hand, if a company’s attitude is flippant towards the wellbeing of the community it serves, it will likely have the same expendable mindset towards its employees.
What is the company’s policy regarding the health and wellness of it’s members?
Many companies offer unlimited vacation time but shame employees for taking any time off at all, and it is not uncommon for companies to tout a “work hard play hard” mantra that in practice is almost exclusively “work hard”. Hiring managers will quickly point out what health benefits a company may offer, but jobseekers should ask how that compares directly with what is actually widely accepted and utilized by employees.
Can you give me some anecdotes that highlight the company’s culture?
Hiring managers love to describe the “company culture” using buzzwords, but jobseekers should ask for specific examples of how the culture is practiced in real time. It’s all well and good if a company sports a state of the art rec room with foosball and nap pods, but does anyone ever actually use them? By asking for specific examples, jobseekers will have a better idea of how they will be valued and rewarded and treated on an every day basis.
What career path options are beyond the job?
Similar to the “is there growth in the company” question, this gives candidates an insight into what steps may be available for them if they decide to take this role. Ask what previous employees holding similar positions are doing now. Is there training or mentoring available? A company that is dedicated to the growth of their employees is not something to be taken for granted.
So many people are searching for jobs right now, but that doesn’t mean that one should not be discerning. If you are spending 40+ hours a week working for a company, it should be one that treats you with respect, values your work, and rewards you when deserved. Looking for your next opportunity? Submit your resume here.