New research from TopCV, the world’s largest CV-writing service, reveals that more than three-quarters (78%) of UK companies have taken steps to increase their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), starting last year.

Amid the global pandemic and cultural movements such as Black Lives Matter, UK hiring professionals said their employer or clients have taken steps such as increasing or improving their EDI training, expanding their diversity policy, increasing hiring in EDI-focused roles and redacting identifiers of race or gender in CVs.

Also, employers have altered their focus when it comes to benefits. With traditional employee perks such as free lunches and office beer-fridges rendered meaningless as a result of home-working, 77 per cent of recruitment professionals told TopCV that their organisation or clients have implemented new policies or incentives to maintain employee engagement and attract top talent.

Topping the list of popular new employee incentives was equipment or allowances for home-office setups, with 62 per cent of hiring professionals stating their company or clients now offer this amenity to employees. Other benefits adopted include customised work schedules (31%), such as a four-day working week or flexible start and finish times, and health and fitness perks (31%), including subsidised gym memberships, vouchers for exercise classes or equipment, and virtual workout classes.

Amanda Augustine, careers expert at TopCV, commented: ‘This past year’s events have caused many professionals to prioritise job opportunities with organisations based on the values they promote and the ways in which they support and recognise their employees – in other words, the company culture. In fact, company culture has become the single-most important factor when choosing a job – beating out career-progression opportunities and even total compensation. If job seekers are willing to do a little extra research and ask the right questions, they will find themselves employed at a company that cares about the same things as they do.’

If you want to determine whether a company’s corporate culture will be a good fit before you consider an offer, Amanda has some tips:

  • Revisit the company website. Pay special attention to the ‘About us’ and ‘Careers’ sections of the corporate website to get a better sense of the company’s mission and current incentives. Look for diversity among its list of executives and board of directors. In addition, consider the stock images or employee photos that are featured throughout the site. These little details will help you assess how committed the company truly is to EDI.

  • Consider the employee directory. A simple LinkedIn search can help you identify who is currently working for the company and what department they’re in. When reviewing the search results, consider if the people all look like one another or if there is a range of different genders, races and abilities.

  • Identify who the company associates with. You can tell a lot about a company based on what organisations, initiatives and causes it engages with. Run a Google search on the company and its executives to see which types of programmes and charities they’ve supported. You can also turn to this website to find out where companies have donated money.

  • See what others are saying. Use review sites like Glassdoor to find out what former and current employees are saying about their employers, the company culture and the interview process. In addition, see if you know anyone who currently works or previously worked for the employer to gain more insight into the organisation and learn helpful tips to nail the interview, should you want to work there. You can also turn to the experts like Great Place to Work to find out if the employer has been recognised for having a great company culture.

  • Ask thoughtful questions. Be prepared for your next interview with a list of questions you can ask that will help you assess if a company’s values align with yours. For example, if EDI is very important to you, you might ask if the company has any programmes geared toward promoting diversity. If you’re looking for an employer who is ‘parent friendly’, you might ask about their flexible working policies. Regardless of your priorities, be sure to ask each interviewer how they would describe the culture and the types of people who thrive at the organisation.

For more tips on how to find an employer whose values match your own, check out this TopCV article.