How to evaluate company culture during a job interview

A company's mission and culture matter more than salary or other perks to potential employees, according to Glassdoor.

Why managers must measure employee engagement Leaders need to create an engaging culture that gives skilled talent what they need to do their best work, according to Santiago Jaramillo, CEO and co-founder of Emplify.

Salary and perks traditionally drew job candidates to a given company, but today, the majority of employees are more interested in an organization's mission and culture, according to Glassdoor's Mission & Culture Survey 2019, released late Wednesday. 

In a survey of more than 5,000 adults across the US, UK, France, and Germany, 77% said they would consider a company's culture before applying for a job there, and 56% said company culture is more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction, Glassdoor found. 

SEE: 10 websites that can help you find your next job (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

"Having a compelling mission, culture and values are critical when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent in a competitive job market—it is what differentiates each and every employer," Christian Sutherland-Wong, Glassdoor president and COO, said in a press release. "Across the countries we surveyed, it's clear that job seekers are seeking more meaningful workplace experiences. Job seekers want to be paid fairly but they too want to work for a company whose values align with their own and whose mission they can fully get behind."

Younger employees particularly value company culture, Glassdoor found: For example, 65% of US millennials said they place culture over salary, compared to 52% of people over age 45. Culture impacts whether or not potential job candidates even apply to a given organization, the report found: 77% of adults consider a company's culture before applying for a job, and 73% said they would not apply to a company unless its values aligned with their own. This highlights the need for employers to clearly define and communicate their values with top talent. 

Company culture is also key for retaining employees, according to the report. Nearly two in three employees (65%) said their company's culture is one of the main reasons they stay in their job. And 71% said that if their current company's culture began to deteriorate, they would begin looking for jobs elsewhere. 

How to evaluate company culture

Employees interviewing at a company who want to learn more about its culture can ask the following questions to uncover how things really work there, according to a Glassdoor blog post: 

1. How long have you been with the company?

2. What was the last big achievement that was celebrated?

3. What activities do you offer employees?

4. What was the department's biggest challenge last year and what did you learn from it?

5. How do you measure success and over what time frame? How are those metrics determined?

For more, check out How to sell your company culture to a potential hire: 5 tips on TechRepublic. 

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Partners handshaking after successful work negotiations

Image: iStockphoto/fizkes

By Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.