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Employers conduct several rounds of assessments to ensure they are hiring the best person for the job, so why shouldn’t candidates do the same? Many times, job seekers accept a position without thinking much about the culture, environment, and people in the new setting. While this approach may seem fine, it has repercussions.
A good way to keep yourself from ending up in the wrong job is to check for compatibility with your target employer. This means confirming that the company’s culture, values, ethics, vision, products, and services align with your own goals and ideals. Below, we’ve listed a few characteristics to compare so you’ll understand how to evaluate employers successfully.
In 2019, about 91% of U.S. businesses were actively using social media for marketing. Consequently, candidates can find an abundance of information about companies on their social media handles. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter offer a wealth of insight into the work environment and day-to-day operations of companies.
For example, by viewing the Instagram page for Netflix, you will instantly notice its inclusive, diverse, and team-oriented culture. A look at Google’s Facebook page will help you understand whether or not it’s a company you’d want to work for. Similarly, companies’ LinkedIn and Twitter pages tell us a lot about their achievements, key people, management style, and work environment. Therefore, it’s imperative to explore the social media accounts of your target companies to ensure a perfect fit.
2. Read employee reviews
In our fast-paced lives, reviews have become a valuable source of information. They influence our everyday decisions, such as watching a movie or ordering from a restaurant. Companies like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Vault provide a similar service to job seekers. Based on the experiences of previous and current employees, you can make smart decisions about which companies to apply to.
Employee reviews of a company mostly share information about these traits:
- Work environment
- Leadership style
- Work-life balance
- Support from management
- Hierarchy and its impact
- Company politics
These key items round out your image of a company and affect your decision to accept a job offer. As a result, we strongly recommend reading employee reviews before applying.
3. Connect with previous or current employees
While reading reviews does not give you an opportunity to ask specific questions, connecting with your target company’s employees on LinkedIn will ensure a two-way conversation. You can gain answers to your questions, understand how things work in the organization, learn about the attitude and mindset of the people, and determine whether there are professional and personal opportunities to grow within the company.
The way these contacts respond to your request and acknowledge your questions will also reveal much about the work environment and culture. Speaking to professionals from your target department might give you a glimpse into day-to-day functions and project management. Further, you may even enjoy other professional networking benefits- strengthening your professional network and receiving a referral for your target job.
4. Ask questions in your interview
Asking relevant questions directly to employers about their organization is perhaps the best way to learn about them. Most employers welcome questions and are happy to provide clear and direct answers. The what and how of these answers will serve as indicators, helping you determine whether you want to work for them or not. You can ask for culture-related details, such as specifics about the work environment, how the company celebrates success with employees, what growth opportunities are available to employees or how they ensure employee well-being.
Asking questions in an interview not only eliminates your doubts but also creates a good impression on your interviewers. It makes you look interested and eager to know and work with them.
5. Use resources to assess the company’s financial position
Multiple websites, like Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg, and S&P Global, can provide clear data about the financial positions of your target companies. You’ll find them useful for evaluating a company’s growth over the years, the regularity of cash flows and salary payments, employee benefits such as bonuses and pensions, and any financial defaults. These factors determine how capable an employer is financially.
You must know the financial capability of your employer to judge their capacity to pay you, provide the promised benefits, fulfill your requirements and pay stakeholders to efficiently continue day-to-day operations. You won’t want to join a company that goes bankrupt immediately afterward, which will damage your career and well-being.
In fact, procuring company financial data will help you frame good questions to ask, increasing your chances of securing positive interview outcomes. It may also give you a competitive edge as many other candidates won’t be concerned with the financial facts.
Evaluating an employer is crucial. It sheds light on aspects of your potential job that may not sound important but will definitely affect your performance and productivity. The internet has made resources for learning about prospective employers easily accessible, and using them optimally will empower you to make sound decisions.