On the job hunt? A big, fat paycheck might not be enough to win you over. 

The job market is strong right now. Candidates can be choosy. A new study finds that company mission and values matter just as much as salary -- or more. Over half of the participants said culture mattered more for their job satisfaction. 

Glassdoor surveyed 5,000 participants in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Seventy-nine percent said they'd consider a company's mission and purpose before applying for a job, while 77 percent would consider a company's culture. Millennials surveyed (ages 18-34) were more likely to prioritize culture above salary. 

If an organization's culture and mission are important to you, here's how to suss them out during your job search. 

Look for a mission, values, or culture page on their website.

If a company is truly mission-driven and invests in building a strong culture, it's proud to show it off. Look beyond the LinkedIn job posting and spend time on the company's website. If its website never once mentions mission, values, or culture, that should be a flag.

A mission page is a good sign, but it doesn't necessarily mean the company walks the walk. Most employers -- tech companies especially -- have gotten wise to the fact that this is a key way to attract top talent. Even companies with nefarious business practices can claim to be "changing the world."

How a company talks about itself on its own website is only a starting point.

Ask current employees open-ended questions.

If you're seriously pursuing a job within a company, it's in your best interest to chat with people who work there. Even if they work in a different department or area of the organization, you can learn about the culture through these conversations. Keep your questions open-ended. What do they like about working there? What's leadership like? 

If you aren't able to make those inroads, read the reviews its employees have left on Glassdoor. Do the reviews mention meaningful work, mission, or culture? 

In interviews, ask pointed questions about company culture.

If you make it to the interview stage, you can drill into this topic even more. Be sure to ask a culture-related question to every person you speak with during your interview. 

Don't ask point-blank about culture. You might not get an honest answer. Or the interviewer might rattle off a standard list of perks. Perks do not equal culture. Instead, organizational
psychologist and host of the WorkLife podcast, Adam Grant, recommends you ask:

"Can tell you tell me about something that happened here that wouldn't happen anywhere else?"

Ask everyone this same question and listen for common themes. Based on the cumulative responses, you should be able to gather if the culture centers around trust, respect, and a shared mission. ​

Published on: Jul 19, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.