Most of us are accustomed to being subjected to intense screening procedures as part of the job search and the hiring process. We dutifully submit to references, transcripts, employer evaluations, background checks, credit reports, drug tests and an account of our residences for the previous seven years. Whew! No stone left unturned.
But what about flipping the scope and checking out the employer? It is equally crucial to do your homework and gather details on the company where you are considering investing a great deal of time and energy. How can you do that? Take a look at these great tips on checking out your possible future employer.
Take stock of your requirements
A steady paycheck is important, but it should not be the only necessity on your list when it comes to accepting an offer of employment. There is no right or wrong in this regard- the main guidelines are based upon your personality and individual tastes.
Terrence Conrad works in a state unemployment office as an employment security representative. He recently passed an exam which qualified him for an upgrade in position, but Conrad decided against making a move.
“I rejected the offer for several reasons,” Conrad explained adamantly. “First, I don’t like to wear a tie, and at the downtown location you have to dress up. Shorts and a t-shirt are not acceptable. Secondly, the parking is horrendous. I would have to pay for the privilege of walking four blocks from the parking garage to the office each day. The final deal breaker was the lack of flex time. I like being able to work four days and be off three.”
Conrad would have boosted his annual income by about $10,000 a year if he had taken the new job. But, after taking stock of his requirements, he realized that the offer was not in his best interest. He would not have been able to prosper.
Dress codes and flex time may not be deal breakers for you, but it is essential that you understand the type of environment that will ensure personal success.
Is it important that the company maintain a supportive profile in the community? A visit to the local chamber of commerce can reveal vital information about philanthropic endeavors for this company. Is the environment a top priority? Annual reports, and emissions and containment records, can expose relevant information.
A peek behind the curtain
If you can lasso a current employee and get the scoop on life behind the scenes, you may obtain valuable information. However, if the real picture is not glowing, current employees may be reluctant to honestly discuss areas of concern for fear of repercussions.
Luckily, there are other options. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) can provide useful data. The BBB tracks complaints and investigations associated with businesses. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is another good resource. Established in 1965, the EEOC investigates charges of discrimination against job applicants and current employees.
World Wide Web
Don’t trivialize the website. Many companies use the internet to brag about their activities. The annual picnic, newsletters, anniversaries, community service and team sponsorship may all be highlighted on the website. Such entries reflect the overall flavor at the workplace— fun and friendly or nose to the grindstone.