How to identify employers who align with your values

How to identify employers who align with your values
How to identify employers who align with your values

posted 03 Apr 24

As the world of work evolves, values become a key factor for professionals when prioritising their careers. Therefore, when making a career move, we must be able to identify employers who align with our values and enable us to foster long-term and fulfilling partnerships.

According to Deloitte’s 2024 Gen Z and Millennial Survey, nearly half of Millennials in the UK (45%) have rejected a potential employer because of their values and beliefs, whilst nine in 10 (90%) of Gen Zs and Millennials agree that working for a company that shares their values and ethics is important for workplace satisfaction and wellbeing. In addition to younger generations, the Deloitte Global 2023 LGBT+ Inclusion @ Work report revealed that one-third of LGBT+ people are looking to move to a more LGBT+ inclusive employer. Unsurprisingly, employers who emphasise their values are better suited to attract interested candidates and motivate their existing employees, especially for those demographics inspired by purpose-driven work 

So, how do you seek opportunities with companies that align with your values and purpose? Discover the following job search hacks to help you go forth and find your ideal role.   

Identify your deal breakers  

Firstly, discover what values are most meaningful to you - knowing which values are important to you and why will help you find the right match with a company. If the answer doesn’t immediately come to you, ask yourself: What gives you energy? What are you passionate about? What skills are you most passionate about using in your new role? Will this job help you grow your career?   

For Morgan Young, knowing her values and sticking firmly to them throughout the job search has allowed her to land a position where she feels she can be authentically herself. She told LinkedIn,

I’m an Asian American, a woman in tech, LGBTQ+, and neurodivergent, so that creates a very interesting identity for myself in the workplace. Because of that, I’ve made a ‘deal’ with myself that wherever I work, it has to be a place where I can be authentically myself. I seek out workplaces that not only accept me for who I am, but embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion as what’s valuable.

Analyse the company language  

An organisation driven by its values will incorporate them into the language it uses externally, including on social media, within their job listings, and in their communications with you. Keep an eye out for inclusive language, the specific values the company promotes, and whether the ED&I statement reflects a meaningful commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.  

When you receive an email to schedule an interview or a job offer, scan for clues of unconscious bias or implicit values. For example, does the recruiter or hiring manager make assumptions when addressing you, i.e., writing ‘Mrs.Jones’ when they don’t know if you’re married or identify as a woman? If the spelling of your name includes a symbol or character, have they taken the time to spell it correctly? You can also look at the sender’s email signature to see whether it includes the use of pronouns (she/her, he/his, they/them, she/they, etc.). 

Ask your community  

Connect and network with people in similar roles or industries who share your values to get a feel for what it's like working in that specific field, role, or company. Asking people about their first-hand experience provides valuable insight into the actual workplace culture and environment that may not be apparent from an external perspective and may allow you to gauge whether you can see yourself reflected in their workplace. 

Starting these conversations will not only enhance the preliminary side of your job search and help you avoid potentially negative environments, but also open networking opportunities, helping you find mentors, allies, and professional connections.

Kirsten Phelps (she/her), HR Advisor and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist at Search

As a gay woman, I value the importance of learning from someone with a similar lived experience. This helps to provide me with realistic expectations and gives me confidence to come to work as my authentic self, which is often difficult for many LGBTQIA+ people. Connecting with your community and like-minded people through employee network groups creates conversation and support in a safe environment. Our DEI Committee and Shadow Board gives employees a platform to have a voice while celebrating diversity, leading to professional achievement for all.

Kirsten Phelps (she/her), HR Advisor and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist at Search

Filter your search via company values 

If you are searching for a new role via LinkedIn, make sure you utilise their job search filtering effectively to identify open roles based on an organisation’s commitment to values such as diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), alongside other commitments that are important to you, such as career growth and learning, social impact and environmental sustainability, and work-life balance. Simply start a job search, choose ‘All filters’, scroll down to see a dedicated ‘Commitments’ section and select specific value types to narrow your search.   

Top tip: You can also learn about a company’s commitments on their LinkedIn page and signal your interest in working there via the ‘I’m interested’ button in their ‘About’ tab. Using this feature will spotlight your LinkedIn profile to hiring managers using LinkedIn’s Recruiter tool and increase your chances of getting hired by your ideal employer.   

Remember that no organisation is perfect, but many are trying to open their ears and improve workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion. Pay close attention throughout your job search, and don’t be afraid to ask questions - that way, you can be confident you have joined a team that puts its values into action. We hope this article has armed you with the tools you need to create a job search strategy with values at the forefront, and we wish you all the best in your job search.