The Job May Be Right, but is the Company

Posted by Rob Riggins

You crafted your resume, aced the interviews and are certain you’ll field a job offer.

But do you want to join the company? Is it the right fit for you? Is it the right contract for you?

Many Baby Boomers, GenXers and others were conditioned to gratefully accept almost any jobs offered, and it can be hard to break that thinking when there are bills to pay. Millennials have led the way in changing that attitude. HR consultants will tell you millennials are more interested in open, high-tech and welcoming environments that match their beliefs than they are in money or status. And employers are trying to satisfy that need.

Sounds great, right? But just how can you verify that your positive vision of the company is accurate? Consider these tips:

  1. Review job rating sites. Even if you did that before you applied, you should return to Glassdoor and Vault to look at the rating the company receives and look at the reviews. Of course you know that many reviews are anonymous so some people will exaggerate or offer skewed visions of time in the company. That’s why reviewing several sites is vital.
  2. Post questions on professional sites. Facebook, LinkedIn, Meetup and various professional organizations have groups specifically for those in your field. Post a question asking members if they have information on the company and then ask them to write you privately. If you are on the site, chances are that employees from the company are, too. And no one wants to publicly berate any employer. Protect yourself and keep questions and responses neutral, even during private conversations.
  3. Network. At any networking event you attend, whether that’s a Cleared Job Fair or any event where you’re talking about your job search, ask others if they have any knowledge of the company, or if they know anyone who does.
  4. Search LinkedIn. It’s fairly easy to do a quick search on LinkedIn and find current and past employees of companies. You can send messages through the site, of course, but you can also take the name and search them out via Facebook, email, or professional organizations. That might garner you a faster response than going through LinkedIn, which most people don’t check daily.
  5. Search your online newspaper. Occasionally you will find some startling information about a company in the newspaper. Go to the company’s hometown newspaper and do a Google Search. You can also use a service such as that will quickly call up news stories, company press releases and more.
  6. Ask for references. You likely provided professional references to the company. Ask them for some, too. Of course they’ll likely connect you with very satisfied staff. Some companies even have those people on call to serve as references. Talk to those people but don’t stop there. Ask for names of past employees in a non-threatening way – “Gee, you have been the manager here for two years. Do you mind telling me your predecessor’s name and what you’ve changed since that person left?” Then you can contact that person and have a talking point.
  7. LISTEN. Oftentimes we are so anxious to seem likable to potential employers that we talk too much. Sit back and listen to the answers when you ask a question. And when the person is done speaking, don’t jump in to fill the silence. Give the silence a beat or two. That’s what journalists do to elicit some of their best quotes.
  8. Research what community efforts and charities the company supports. You’ll find some of the information on the company’s website or in their social media channels, particularly Facebook or Twitter. Also, ask about charity and community efforts. If there’s a dead silence or mumbling, you are right to suspect the dedication is in name only. If the interviewer is enthusiastic about the company’s outreach efforts, ask to speak to an employee or two who participate. Ask for details – Does the company allow you time off to work on these efforts? Do managers and other leaders pitch in? Is there monetary support for the charities? All of these will give you a sense of the company’s commitment.
  9. Don’t forget Twitter. Again, you won’t post anything negative about your potential (or current! Or any!) employer, but you can make contact with those that know and interact with the company including past employees. Read what they say about the company and follow up to request private conversations.

You worked hard to become a cleared professional and want to join a company that will best suit you and your values. Research will help you find the company that deserves your skills and dedication.


This entry was posted on Monday, August 07, 2017 10:31 am

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