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Job Seekers…Do Your Research

Posted by Kelly Dingee

I’m not sure where you live, but in my metro area there is a hum. A hum of job seekers. It’s nice to have all these people who are supposedly passive and not looking for a new gig, piqued by the opportunities we have available.

But just because I’ve knocked on your door and laid out an opportunity on a silver platter, doesn’t mean the job is automatically yours. You have to invest yourself just a bit, and you have to know more about the company you’re interviewing with before you go in for a face-to-face interview or phone call.

I admit it, about 6 years ago when I was looking to return to work full time from my part-time consulting gigs I was interviewing and didn’t always do my research ahead of time. Laziness on my part, they called me after all! Wrong, wrong, wrong. Every single time I wasn’t ready with what I knew about the organization, they called me on it.  So here are some tips on what you should be doing:

Visit the Company Website. If it’s a large company like Sodexo, there’s a section called “Media” or something similar to it. Check out their press releases – you want to be able to talk about what the company is currently doing that’s public knowledge.

While you’re on the company website, visit the job you’re interviewing for. Check out the posting date. How long has the job been available? Time to wonder why if it’s been more than 30 days….ask in the interview.

Visit LinkedIn. Not to network. Usually that’s the first thing I say, but use the search feature to review Sodexo as a company.  When you look at their company profile, you’ll get the opportunity to click on “Insightful Statistics” which will reveal other companies people have viewed similar to Sodexo (like Aramark) as well as Departures from the company.

These do seem to be based on people in your network who have left, but that’s a good thing, then you can reach out and find out the “why” behind the change. Also, check out your interviewer and/or recruiter – know who you’re dealing with.

Search for News. Don’t just use the general search at Google or Bing, select the News tab to get the most current information on a company. Sometimes you’ll see press releases not yet on the company web site as well as negative information, like employees recently arrested or in some cases pending legal action.

Look for More. Check out the company financials if they’ve published an annual report.  (The University of Pittsburgh has a nice list of resources). Pull them up on Hoover’s for a quick review (even if limited in a free version). Visit a site like Glassdoor.com. One of my favorites? YouTube. Just to hear more pro-company information and occasionally get insight into current issues employees are facing.

By no means is this list complete. Are you a job seeker? What worked for you in learning more about a potential employer? Hit us with your comments.

Kelly Dingee

Kelly Dingee is a Strategic Recruiting Manager for Staffing Advisors and a contributor to Fistful of Talent, where this article first appeared. Her extensive sourcing experience began in 1998, when Kelly convinced her boss about the potential for sourcing job candidates from the internet. Follow Kelly on Twitter @SourcerKelly.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 09, 2012 7:14 am

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