By Stephanie Dolmat, Senior Director, ESG, Robert Half
You’re browsing job listings and think you’ve found the perfect role at a great company. It will let you play to your natural strengths, and the salary is very attractive. But there’s another factor you don’t see mentioned: how the company’s practices align with your personal needs and values.
You may want, for example, to join a firm that prioritizes work-life balance, supports the community through philanthropy and volunteering, prioritizes representation, creates spaces where everyone feels that they belong, and so on. But how can you find out all this about a company?
Here are six ways to tell if a business is committed to supporting its people beyond the salaries it pays them.
1. Check out the company’s ESG profile
You can start by gathering information on the firm’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities, with an emphasis on the “S.” The letter S stands for “social,” a company’s relationship with internal and external stakeholders.
Enter the company name followed by “ESG” or “environmental, social and governance” in your web browser. Then look for information about its workforce. Is there mention of employee recognition programs and policies that support working parents and caregivers? How does it address employees working remotely or in a hybrid arrangement?
The tips below offer other topics you should search for to evaluate the firm’s record on social issues inside and outside of the business.
2. Learn about its environmental strategy
Many companies make promises and pledges around environmental goals. But you need to be sure that these statements align with how the firm you’re thinking about joining conducts its daily business.
Public companies like Robert Half regularly issue separate reports and data updates on their ESG performance on their website. Some firms will have a section online detailing their goals and programs.
Look for transparency rather than vague aspirations. A well-thought-out environmental statement explains the company’s impact on the planet, detailing not only what they’ve achieved but also areas where they need to improve.
Download the report, Leading With Integrity, to learn about Robert Half’s ESG activities. It’s available here.
3. Assess its commitment to inclusion and belonging
Can you achieve your professional goals if your company doesn’t embrace your true self at work? Organizations that make sure diverse perspectives are represented throughout the company often state their policies in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Searching on the company name followed by “DEI” will likely bring up its efforts in these areas.
Businesses committed to DEI values should have the active support of C-suite executives. Look for mention of internal employee network groups (sometimes called employee resource groups or affinity groups), which are company-sponsored employee organizations typically built around various issues, including ethnicity, age, sexual orientation and disability.
Employee network groups, or ENGs, assist their members in feeling welcome at the company and provide educational resources to help everyone in the business better understand and engage with each other. These groups often connect their members with professional development opportunities as well.
Learn about Robert Half’s commitment to DEI, our ENGs and more on this page.
4. Find out how much flexibility you’ll be offered
If you’re like many job seekers for whom the pandemic changed their life priorities, you’re likely looking for an employer that will give you greater work-life balance and more of what you consider important in a job. Can you find evidence that the company you’re researching has a significant interest in the individual priorities of its employees?
Does it take care of its people with perks and benefits that allow them to stay well mentally and physically? And does the company offer a choice of when and where employees work? In an era where, according to a Robert Half survey, more than half of workers would rather quit than return to the office full time, the remote work question can be a dealbreaker for many. Does the business give you the autonomy to decide whether your home or the company’s office is where you are most productive?
5. Evaluate the room for growth you’ll have
It’s important to take a new look at your career goals because old paths are closing, and new ones are opening, primarily due to new technology. Is professional development — including reskilling and upskilling — a high priority for the firm with the job you’re considering? See if you can determine whether the learning experience there will let you reach your full potential. If the job you’re after will be primarily remote, research details on the company’s virtual learning capabilities.
Remember that professional development can be as much about building relationships as it is about gaining skills and knowledge. Does the company have a formal or informal mentoring program? Depending on where you are in your career, a chance to be paired with senior leaders who will help you build skills and learn the unwritten rules of the organization can be a great benefit.
6. Learn about the firm’s community involvement
Search the company’s website for information on its relationships with the organizations in the communities where it operates. Assess the company’s involvement with external alliances and organizations that dedicate resources and learning, professional development, and advancement opportunities to historically marginalized communities.
Here again, a good place to start is where the company’s website talks about ESG. Do you share an interest in the causes it supports? Look not only for its philanthropic areas of focus but also for opportunities for employees to volunteer in support of community activities they believe in.
With some research and persistence, you can determine if a company will do all it can to accommodate what’s most important to you in a job and whether it truly shares your commitment to making the world a better place.
Follow Stephanie Dolmat on LinkedIn.