Finding Your Culture Fit

Company culture is key to happiness at work. It impacts how companies treat everyone from employees to customers, so it can affect both your experience and the company’s overall  success.  We’ve developed some simple steps to help you quickly assess culture.

First, rank order what’s important to you, recognizing that you need to prioritize since no one company can give you everything.

  • Company mission
  • Company values and norms
  • Compensation levels and philosophy
  • Approach on advancement & growth
  • Work/life balance

Next, consider the following 3 ways to evaluate Culture


Glassdoor Rating

This can be a great tool to understand work/life balance and get a diverse set of opinions. If there’s enough volume of reviews, look at the overall score compared to your current company’s and how it ranks among others you’re considering. Don’t get thrown off if there are a very small percentage of extremely negative reviews, even great companies have a few disgruntled employees and review sites of all kinds bias towards the complainers. You’re looking for consistent themes (both positive and negative) in the comments and recent trends.



Employee Turnover – a LinkedIn Hack you can use

You can get a sense of turnover rate by looking at past employees as a percentage of current employees on LinkedIn.

  • Do a Search on LinkedIn under the companies name to get their number of current number of employees.
  • In LinkedIn’s “Advanced Search,” put in the company name and select “Past Company Not Present” to get the total number of former employees.
  • Divide that Past Not Present number over the total current employees to get the turnover rate and divide by years the company has been around to get a normalized annual rate. If that number is over 10%…run!
  • Solid, growing companies retain their employees. For example, as of January 2017, Twilio has over 700 current employees and only about 323 past employees in its 8 years of operation, for a turnover rate of 4.8%.

Ex-employee Insights

This may seem awkward, but it might be the most important step. Find someone who worked in the department you’re joining. Contact them through LinkedIn and let them know that you’re considering a position at their former company. Make sure they know you want their unfiltered thoughts. You’ll be surprised at how candid and helpful many people will be, and it ends up being a nice networking opportunity as well.

Using these 3 data points, you can paint a clear picture of the company’s culture and compare that to your own values to assess fit. This small investment can save you years of stress.