6 Company Culture Red Flags

Advice From Employers / July 1, 2024

When applying for a new job opportunity, it is important to make the company is a good fit for you. You want to make sure it checks most if not all of your boxes and they have a good company culture that will make you want to go back each day and do your best work. 

Make a list of things that are important to you before heading into your job hunt, so you’ll know what to look out for when making your final decisions.  

What are some red flags to be aware of during your job hunt to find the company that is the best fit for you?

1. There is no diversity on the leadership team

The hospitality industry is known for its diversity, in both guests and employees, but if no one on the leadership team represents the diversity that could be an indicator of a problem. People on the leadership team make the decisions, and policies and set the tone for the overall culture so it is important for them to be able to make decisions that will benefit and support employees from all backgrounds including women, people of color, people from all over the world and more. 

Seeing diverse leaders can also show diverse employees that they have the chance to work their way up to a leadership position if they want.

2. They focus too strongly on “fun” benefits

Sure, everyone likes free snacks or an awesome employee lounge, but more importantly, do they focus on providing employees with really great core benefits like healthcare, childcare options, or parental leave? 

Having too strong a focus on fun benefits is an indicator that the company doesn’t understand what is the most important, or even shows that they don’t ask for feedback from their employees to make sure their priorities and needs are met. 

3. No training is offered

Not only training for job responsibilities, but also training for things like how to handle difficult interactions with guests, or how to create an inclusive workplace. There are also companies to have programs dedicated to training any and all employees interested in career advancement. 

If the employer doesn’t offer any of these, it could indicate they don’t want to offer all of the necessary tools for the employees to progress and improve, which in turn could decrease loyalty and retention. 

4. Your future manager wants someone who thinks like them or the rest of the team

If working for someone who is open to new ideas and perspectives, pay close attention to how a manager describes their ideal candidate. Are they using current team members as an example of what they are looking for? Does everyone in the waiting room for the interview look the same? 

5. They’re not using inclusive language

Another way to gauge an employer’s diversity and inclusion efforts is through the job descriptions posted and the language they use during the interview. If the job description uses gender-specific words, like “looking for an aggressive and competitive worker” they are likely indicating a preference for male candidates. 

6. They don’t have any messages of support on societal issues

If you feel strongly about a cause, like sustainability efforts or diversity and inclusion, research their website and social media to see what their efforts and support are for those specific causes. If you can’t find any then you may decide not to apply, or at least make a note to ask about that during the interview. 

Questions to ask during the interview

To help get a feel for the company’s culture, here are some questions you can ask during an interview. 

  1. How do you create an inclusive environment? 
  2.  Do you have any employee resource groups?
  3. Do you have professional development or career advancement training opportunities available for all employees?
  4. What are the company’s core values?