Season 6| Episode 10

8 Company Culture Questions That Reveal the Truth 

“Culture is just as important, if not more important, than compensation these days.” 

Any recruiter or hiring manager worth their salt knows that culture is important to candidates. However, how often do we hear bogus descriptions of culture? 

“Oh, we have a great work-life balance.” 

“Yeah, we have Nerf guns and a ping pong table in the break room!” 

Anyone can say these things – but any savvy candidate will know that it says nothing about the most important parts of a company’s culture. These are all perks, but they’re not really culture. It doesn’t go to show what it’s really like to work at an organization. 

To dig into this topic, we sat down with Hanna Root, our IT recruiting consultant. She walked us through eight questions she asks hiring managers and recruiters to get a deeper look at their culture. 

#1: How often do managers meet with their employees? 

“This question gives you a better understanding of how much time the leaders and managers are spending to develop their internal employees, whether it’s hands on or over the phone or whatever it may be.”

#2: How much time do the company leaders, founders, or owners spend in the office? 

“That will give you an idea of how much time the owners and founders are spending developing all of their internal employees and growing them, versus growing the business from a sales perspective or a revenue perspective.”

#3: What type of philanthropy does the company participate in? 

“That right there will give you an idea of how the company gives back to the community, how [much] they value giving back to the community, and then more specifically, maybe you’ll figure out what this company’s purpose is by uncovering the philanthropic values or motivators of the owners, founders, or leaders of the company.”

#4: What is your attrition rate?

“Big question – I think this needs to be asked pretty much every time – is what is your attrition rate? This should be asked from a company perspective, to see what the turnover rate is there. Are they just churning and burning through employees? If so, why? What are the steps they’re taking there to remediate that?” 

“And then also from a specific manager. I want to know that the manager I’m working with or working for doesn’t again just churn and burn through employees…ideally that should give you a better picture of the type of manager you’re working with and how far they can take you with your career.”

#5 What was the last big achievement that was celebrated? 

“If they really struggle coming up with something, that can be a warning sign or a red flag. You want to get answers that they’re celebrating things – not every day but that they are celebrating accomplishments and that they’re recognizing people for going above and beyond and busting their butt!”

#6: Do you have a casual dress code or flexible hours? 

“Companies will tell you they have work-life balance, but if they don’t have flexible hours, are they really offering you a good work-life balance? I think that question can really dig into the whole work-life balance aspect.”

#7: What steps are being taken to improve employee satisfaction? 

“I’m sure if you ask that question, you’re going to get a lot of blank stares. They probably haven’t thought of that at a lot of companies. It’s a great question to really understand if they are even taking steps or measures to improve employee satisfaction.”

#8: Do you measure Employee Net Promoter Score (ENPS)? And if so, what is your score and what are you doing to improve it? 

 ENPS is a way to track employee satisfaction in a quantifiable manner. It’s not a bad idea for employers to track it themselves and work to improve their score. If a company is measuring this score and taking concrete steps to improve it, that’s a good sign that they genuinely care about their employees. 

What types of questions do you ask hiring managers or recruiters to get a better look at company culture?

Let us know in the comments below!

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