Company culture motivates job seekers

In a world where fancy cars and corner offices once ruled, a surprising trend has emerged with gen Y job seekers: Apathy toward job perks.

It’s not the free products, company cars and tech toys that motivate job seekers — it’s company culture and the ability to accomplish great things. It used to be the case that people boasted about what they got out of their jobs. Now, we’re boasting about what we actually do.

There are perks that are inherently part of a company’s culture that can make a huge impact on how successful you are in your role.

“Benefits and vacations are important, but it’s the intangibles — understanding boss, team camaraderie — that make a job great,” says Sean Fitzgerald, who works as a layout editor for a national newspaper.

With gen Y, culture is king and smaller companies are increasingly providing what they want.

It’s not that a sense of company culture is lost in larger corporations — there are the usual company picnics, networking events, and other things that spur a sense of camaraderie amongst employees. But when you’re one fish in a sea of 5,000, it’s often hard to feel like you’re part of the bigger picture.

The amount of time we’ve been spending at work has been increasing over the past few decades, too. Small businesses are more prone to having a second family feel.

Take Toronto-based web firm BNOTIONS, for example. With a video-game room, yoga studio, and futons to crash on, the team often stays after hours just to hang out. They also work as a team to create programs that give back to the community, such as the free web design courses offered at the company’s Yorkville Media Centre.

“Working at a small company is inspiring, motivating, exhilarating and rewarding,” says Regina Sy, executive assistant at BNOTIONS. “The best part is that everyone in the company cares about you and your well-being and this in turn makes you care about the company, the business and its well-being.

“We’re a big family: Even when we argue, at the end of the day we all know that we have one common goal and will always be there to help each other when it really counts.”

Of course, the small business environment is not for everyone. It’s well-suited to those who love responsibility, challenges and a fast-paced work environment. But in the end, if team camaraderie and an awesome culture are part of your career checklist, you may want to think about jumping in.

Julie Tyios is the marketing manager and chief matchmaker at, a career destination for young professionals. Contact her at