The defence industry is booming and there’s never been more choice for jobseekers. But how do you know which company is right for you when there are multiple offers on the table?
Why is culture important?
Jobseekers are increasingly looking at company culture to help make the decision between multiple employers. Not only can a good culture lead to a more pleasurable workplace, but it can also have a real impact on individual and company success.
A supportive culture leads to increased employee satisfaction, engagement and productivity, as well as a sense of community, team-work and more efficient problem-solving. Companies with a good culture are more likely to be aligned to their values and promote a positive image of themselves to potential partners and customers.
A good culture also leads to better attraction and retention of good employees, creating a high-performing and stable workplace.
How to recognise if a company has a good culture
It can be hard to determine if a company has a good culture before getting boots on the ground, but here are a few sure-fire signs it’s on the right track:
The company has a strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP) which values trust, work-life balance and autonomy. Look out for offerings such as flexible work arrangements, career development pathways and access to senior leadership.
The company values collaboration. Whether that’s inter- or intra-team collaboration, or a general sense of community across the business as a whole, look for a company that is open to hearing new ideas and taking risks from time to time.
The company has a social conscience. There might be policies in place that encourage inclusive hiring, or the company might have a strong commitment to sustainability or social movements. All of these things indicate strong values held dear.
The company has a culture of continuous learning. Professional development is available formally, but also informally through a culture of learning and upskilling. Understanding what kind of kind of training or education classes the company offers is important as well.
A company's culture is often determined by the beliefs and values of its leaders, so understanding the way management operates will help you understand if this aligns with company values. If it doesn’t, then you can expect a lot of ‘saying’ but not so much ‘doing’.
How to find out if the company is well suited to you
This is all well and good, but how exactly do you find out about a company culture before you accept a job there?
In an interview. This is when you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions. Think carefully about what you want to ask, and consider how much detail the employer provides. This will give you clearer insight into how the company operates culturally.
Research the company online. Every company will have a website, so that’s your go-to first off to get a sense of who they are and what they do. Social media sites like LinkedIn might give you more insight into the company’s ‘personality’, and review sites like Glassdoor provide reviews from former employees and scores on job satisfaction and staff turnover.
Use your professional network. What do other people in the industry know about this company? Honest feedback is important, so it’s definitely worth asking around.
Attend industry networking events or job fairs to see first hand how the company operates.
Working for a company whose values align to yours is a recipe for long term and satisfying employment. By following these steps, it’s possible to get a really good sense of a company’s values, mission and culture before accepting a job offer.