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Is the company culture right for you?

Rach Long Edited

Is the company culture right for you?

By Rachael Kerr

When talking to candidates about their reasons for seeking a new job, many of them will list similar motivations – greater financial reward, ready for a new challenge, looking to take a step up and gain more responsibility. Increasingly, I’m hearing more and more people say that they don’t feel that their currently company is right for them or they don’t seem to ‘belong’.

Nowadays culture is a real buzz word. Potential employers are placing a huge amount of emphasis upon ensuring that any new team members are right not just for the role which is available but that they will also ‘fit’ with the culture of the organisation.

Candidates also need to be encouraged to look beyond the job description and give careful consideration to the company as a whole before making the big decision on whether or not the role will be a smart career move.

I recently read an article[1] which outlined five signs to look for when determining whether or not you are applying for your dream (or nightmare) job. It made for interesting reading and the author suggests that the points below, which have been taken from that article, are key points to consider and are definitely worth noting for any candidate when weighing up their options.


Does the organisation really believe in diversity? Whether you are a man or a woman, working for a company that champions equality and diversity should be a top priority. Take a look at the company’s board and non-executives. Also look at what the company is doing to actively promote diversity in the workplace.

Career flexibility

Are you looking for a job, or a career? If it’s the latter, then you need to make sure the company has room for you to grow. At the interview, ask questions on progression, tell them that you want to develop within the role and explore the possibilities. This not only lets you know if this company holds a fruitful future for you, but will show your drive to progress to the interviewer.

You might take one position in the company and want to move department in a few years to grow your skillset. Does the job allow for this? Having the option to grow and develop in different areas of the business is a fantastic way for people to gain a broad experience.

[1] Article by Toby Southgate, chief executive at Brand Union which appeared in The Guardian careers 4 August 2016

Work culture

The appeal of sliding down a fireman’s pole to get to your afternoon meeting may sound great, but office culture needs to move beyond these gimmicks. Building the right kind of culture is vital. It has the power to make or break a company, through its influence on everything from the way people act and communicate to the experiences of clients and customers.

We spend most of our waking hours at work, so a culture you feel proud of, and can contribute to, will make those hours more enjoyable. Company culture needs to reinforce the idea that an employee’s work is appreciated, and encourage trust.

A good start is building a culture that prioritises employee wellbeing. Look at whether your potential employer has this in place. Also look into whether they promote things like leisure activities, and how they support employee-led initiatives such as lunchtime run clubs and community engagement programmes.


Your potential job should provide opportunities to better yourself, as the more qualified and experienced you are, the more you can bring to the role. Training and development is a key part of any career, so do your homework on how seriously this is taken by your potential employer.


Real leadership is not about a single behaviour, it’s about managing and conducting yourself authentically. Great companies advocate honesty and openness from top to bottom. When looking for the right place to work, ask yourself: “Do I respect the people in charge and do I think they are the right people to be working for?”

There is no one aspect of a company that makes it a great place to work – and what each person values from a workplace is different. However, these five points are the foundation for any company that will respect, nurture and care for its employees.

Sharp Consultancy specialises in the recruitment of temporary, interim and permanent finance professionals and the full spectrum of HR roles.  With offices in Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster and Manchester our highly experienced team of consultants recruit for positions throughout Yorkshire and beyond.

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