To speed your employer research, we’ve put together this quick guide to help you research that next potential employer.
Certainly, you can’t dodge every “bad apple employer.” However, you’ll want to learn everything you can to avoid a bad hiring situation.
For example, the basics:
- What products and services the employer sells
- How large the employer is; e.g., # of employees, locations
- The employer’s mission, which is typically found on their website
Yet, there are deeper details you’re looking for when researching employers. For example:
- The employer’s latest news; e.g., business expansions, community projects, lawsuits, security issues, and so on
- Client reviews and public perception
- Partnerships or other business alliances
- Perceived staff turnover
Just as the employer will conduct a background check and check references, you need to conduct your own due diligence.
Having some idea of the employer’s track record will ensure you avoid employers with bad business practices.
Okay, let’s look at the tools that can provide you with the basics.
#1 LinkedIn Company provides a quick snapshot for potential new employees.
For example, you can learn what the company does, about how many employees they have, view the jobs they have advertised, and get company insights if you have a premium LinkedIn account.
The insights feature does give job seekers like you the ability to monitor what job functions in the company are growing, how many new hires they’ve had over the years, and see the total job openings currently available.
This information is important post-COVID because company stability during a pandemic is another key component you’ll want to consider before accepting that next job offer.
Without a LinkedIn premium account, you can still see the number of employees and jobs that are public.
You just won’t get access to the trending numbers.
While you’re on LinkedIn, do a search for the company’s leadership, including CEO, CFO, COO, and CIO.
Take the time to search for department managers too, especially those you will possibly be reporting to, such as Purchasing, Accounting, Human Resources, Production, Healthcare, Marketing, Operations, or Retail Managers.
#2 Now that you have some of the basic details of your potential new employer, let’s look at company reviews.
If anything, these reviews can be entertaining. So, like any review site, you’ll want to consider the validity of some reviews. And, remember that there are two stories to everything.
If you want to check out product and service reviews, look no further than the Better Business Bureau (BBB.org) and Google Reviews.
We found it’s much easier to find Google reviews for smaller versus larger employers, such as IBM, Google, etc.
[Related Article: I’ve covered two additional tools for researching potential employers in this post, which are worth checking out.]
#3 Finding the latest news on a potential employer isn’t too difficult.
Look no further than Google News.
A quick search revealed these results for big blue, IBM:
Don’t rely solely on Google News for your information.
Use the Google search box to search for the potential employer using a combination of keyword variations, starting with the company name with an additive such as:
- company name + lawsuit
- + expansion
- + merger
- + security
- + COVID
- + new client
- + layoffs
#4 Social media offers another layer of research for today’s job seekers.
Searching hashtags at major online sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, can offer more real-time information for those seeking information on a potential new employer.
Potential hashtags to boost your research could include:
To bad customer service or other issues, look for these less favorable hashtags:
There are more recent hashtags that may be important to you as well, including #blacklivesmatter, #goinggreen, and #bestworkever.
#5 What’s the one research method that makes most job seekers squeamish?
Contacting two or three employees who already work for the company.
There’s nothing more nerve-wracking than reaching out to a total stranger and asking their advice.
Yet, to date, this is one technique that produces the best results because you’re getting advice from insiders.
At this point, you might be saying, “Geesh, I only want to work for them. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with them.”
And, you’re right. If that next employer doesn’t work out, you can always quit.
However, there are financial implications for you and the employer.
Employers spend thousands on recruiting just one new employee.
Job seekers like you also lose out when the employer-employee relationship goes sour.
For example, your career trajectory could get derailed.
After all, employers don’t like seeing blotchy work history in a resume, and a short-term position can put your career on the wrong patch.
Let’s also consider the lost salary that occurs.
When you don’t properly research employers, including salary, you may find yourself accepting a position that doesn’t pay well.
Without proper research, you may not uncover this until it’s too late.
One final consideration for you is that accepting a job offer from the wrong employer will have you back on the job market too soon.
You don’t need me to tell you that job searching is time-consuming and not the least bit fun.
So, be sure to research that next potential employer before you accept that job offer. Doing this added bit of legwork on your end can save you a whole lot of headache later.