In every single business or organization there is an implied, assumed and real culture that exists. Each individual employee has an experience that differs from his/her co-worker. Additionally, the “P.R.” we see about companies is not necessarily consistent with the experience the employees have. As you prepare to enter the business world, it is important to research and investigate the culture of a potential place of employment. As important as it is for you to fit in, it is equally important that the company fits YOUR needs! Are you able to buy into and subscribe to the vision and goals of that company? Can you see yourself working with these people in this environment? These are all valid questions to be asking yourself when researching a potential employer. This is something you should do before applying for EVERY position. This research will help you tailor your cover letter and resume to the company AND help you identify questions you could ask of them during the interview.
Assignment: Profile the company whose job posting you are using for the interview unit. Research this company and find out what the culture is there. It is possible that the company has a “reputation” for being a certain way, which may not be true. Look into the sub-culture that exists in the company and find out how it works and why. You will need 2 sources for your paper, which should be 1-2 pages long, double spaced.
Expectations: DIG DEEPER than the company’s website as those websites are created by people who are paid to make the company look good! Talk to people on the inside, read articles online or in the paper. Find out if the employee experience is consistent with the way the company advertises itself.
Grading: Spelling and grammar count! You will be docked for any spelling and grammatical errors! Please make sure that you use spell check and proof read for mistakenly used words. For example, if you want to say the word “definitely” but instead type “defiantly,” the spell check won’t catch it because “defiantly” is a word. READ YOUR PAPER BEFORE TURNING IT IN!!
Tips: Here are some research questions to ask that will get you started:
What is the history of the company?
What are some of the values this company promotes?
How big is the company? Where is it based? What is their organizational structure?
What are this organization’s products and/or services? In the case of nonprofits and government agencies, how and whom do they serve?
What are the significant trends in this industry?
What direction has the organization taken within the past one to two years, and what might be expected in the near future?
What does this organization value (innovation, teamwork, efficiency, the professional development of its employees, public service, and etc.)?
Is this company involved in the community?
How satisfied are their employees? Do the employees have competitive salaries and benefit packages?
What kind of communication is standard within the company? Upward? Downward? Horizontal? Is it electronic communication? Face to face?
How do employees communicate with management?
Would YOU want to work for this company?
Possible Corporate Culture/Company Profile Sources
Research the organization’s website – but don’t depend solely on what the company tells you.
Google (Links to an external site.) Usually the easiest way to find an organization’s site.
Hoover’s Online (Links to an external site.)Hoover’s provides very brief Company Capsules on over 10,000 companies, both public and private.
Vault and Wetfeet guides (Links to an external site.) FREE, downloadable, book-length guides to a handful of companies, mostly in finance and management consulting.
GuideStar.org (Links to an external site.) Provides financial data on over 600,000 nonprofit organizations.
SEC Filings (Links to an external site.) The Securities and Exchange Commission requires all publicly-owned companies to file certain reports. TIP: search for the company’s “10K” reports.
Lexus/Nexis through UNF library databases
For organizations with a national presence, use the “Business” category, then the “Business News” sub-category.
For local, smaller or more obscure companies, click on the “News” category, then the “US News” sub-category (the regional and state searches access a greater number of local newspapers).
PR Newswire (Links to an external site.) The latest news from hundreds of companies. Also, a great way to keep up with industry trends.
SAMPLE CORPORATE CULTURE PAPER Actions
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