Work is your second home. Find the right one.

By Stanley Chan, Consultant, HR and Administration Recruitment, Links International Hong Kong

With every new job opportunity, there are additional things to consider besides the salary and 9+ hours a day you will spend there.

You also have to deal with coworkers, management, office politics, and corporate culture, the importance of which we often overlook. If you don’t enjoy your time at work, the job can become a chore that you struggle to finish every day. In the long run, this not only will become an inefficient use of your time, but will also hinder your success in the future. These are things to consider at the start of your recruitment process, before you apply, or before you take the job and it’s too late.

Why does this matter?

Most of us spend close to 50 hours a week at work. It’s not too much to ask to want to enjoy your time at the office, whether it’s because you know your coworkers will leave you to do your job, or because they’re a lively and social group and you’re looking to make new friends as well as start a new job. Some companies have a very hands-off approach to corporate culture and do little or nothing to encourage their employees’ professional relationships. Others are really aggressive and offer all the perks you’ve come to know and love from westernised companies: snack-filled pantry, social events, team building activities, and things of the sort.

Some people love those things; some people hate them. The worst thing that can happen is for you to be someone who hates them and being stuck in a company that essentially requires them to get ahead. I used to work for a company where the only way to get promoted (unofficially, of course) was to make sure you were friends with the “right” group (a few founding members being management level), with weekly contributions of dirt and gossip about non-group members or our competitors. I was stubborn and was unwilling to conform, thinking that my work and results would do the talking for me. Unfortunately for this blogger, things did not work out that way. Thinking back, I truly cherish that experience, and it has given me further appreciation for everything that I have now.

How to find out if a company is a fit for you

With the increase in new technology, there are more ways to help you make the right call. Websites like Glassdoor and Indeed provide reviews from employees on their experience. Which ultimately means word of mouth. Working with a recruitment consultant can be an invaluable resource. The reason being, consultants are typically less biased in these situations. They understand their clients, the role and the reason there is a vacancy. Has the role been replaced multiple times within a year? Is the company expanding and adding additional headcount? Did the former staff in the position get promoted into another department? This information will play a big factor in assessing what you can expect from the employer.

It may sound narcissistic to promote my profession as the good guys and it would be reasonable to be skeptical. However, the truth of the matter is, you are the one that will be going into that company. You will be the one who will spread word of mouth about the company and about your consultant. All consultants ultimately want their candidates AND clients to have a happy pairing. Here’s to hoping you find the right consultant to help you and find the perfect second home.

Links International specialises in recruiting top talent across Asia. To speak to us about how you can take your career to the next level, please do not hesitate to contact us.