WIS Podcast Q&A

Proactively Researching a Company’s Workplace Culture

By iHire | November 08, 2021

For all the allure of a sports career, who you are working for is just as important, if not even more important, as the job itself. The following question from Matt dives into workplace culture:

“I am not sure if you saw the recent article about the Suns owner, Robert Sarver, talking about the toxic workplace he created. I wanted to ask you, as a job seeker, what measurements can I take to make sure I am going into an organization with a good culture?”

Culture is a hot topic at all companies, and the “About Us” section of job postings are often littered with buzzwords about the culture being “like a family,” “forward-thinking,” or “innovative”. WorkInSports Podcast Host Brian Clapp himself has broached the topic in terms of a catalyst of the Great Resignation, horrible bosses, or management creating a toxic work environment that drives away employees. However, this is a strong question involving how to proactively find out whether or not where you are applying is actually a good environment to work in before you enter it.

How to Research a Company

People in the sports industry like to talk, and they will generally be honest about what a boss or a company is like. This is yet another spot where networking is important. Leveraging contacts connected to a company you are interested in working for is a great way to find out if that company or a specific supervisor you may report to is right for you.

Beyond the network, research how the company describes itself online. This involves the “About Us” section of job postings or on the company website itself. There are certain tells in the wording on their description that Brian elaborates on in this episode. A company’s tone and presence on social media can reveal a lot about its workplace culture.

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Interviews are Two-Way Streets

Every second you spend researching a company and incorporating that research into your application materials improves your chances of getting an interview. Once you hit this stage, it’s important to realize that the interview is just as much for you to evaluate the potential work environment you are entering as it is about them analyzing how good of a fit you are.

If they are transparent and upfront about things like a hiring timeline, the next steps, and salary expectations, then you are probably interviewing for a place with a strong workplace culture. The interview is your chance to ask questions about things such as:

1.    Does the company invest in employee development?
2.    How do they recognize employees for doing good work?
3.    Is there an opportunity to grow within the company?

Catch the full episode of the WorkInSports Podcast for more tips on how to research a company to ensure you are entering a good workplace culture and avoiding a toxic work environment. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen, and catch more content on our YouTube Channel!


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