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A lofty compensation package, spiffy title, and corner office are all great characteristics to look for in a job—but if you're looking for a happy job, a great cultural fit is equally important.
Unlike salary or benefits, a company's culture is much harder to quantify. It's felt in daily operations, and is the standard that guides everything from dress codes to company values.
"Because it is so hard to define and measure, people often overlook it in accepting a job. Also organizations hide the worst parts of their culture during recruiting," says Brad Brummel, Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology and assistant professor of psychology at the University of Tulsa.
Brummel also says that culture applies to everything but can't be gauged by just one thing. As a result, it's best to go beyond a company website and do some research on a wider scale, using these multiple resources:
Twitter has become a tremendously popular way to keep up with real-time company news. Some companies tweet links to industry news, staff blogs, and more. Northrop Grumman, a leading global security company, regularly tweets Air Force and aerospace industry news to keep its followers in the loop. Bryant Quan, the chief executive officer of Slickdeals, Inc. (the largest community-driven deal site), even tweets Instagram photos; like a recent company go-kart outing.
For deeper insight, find employee and management's Twitter accounts. Try searching the company name plus the terms "HR" and "jobs." Many professionals mention their company's name in their bio, which makes them easier to find. Also, check out which users the company is following to see what kind of sources are important to them.
More companies are using Facebook to exhibit their culture, especially as a means to host company event photos. Aurecon, an engineering and construction company, is a great example of a company showcasing its behind-the-scenes...