Choosing a great company to work for
For the majority of job seekers, every job is a good one and every company that gives them a chance is a great one. However, whether you are a sought-out professional who can take their pick of employers or not it is important to judge whether the company is right for you.
Unfortunately, it can take a while before you realise that your new employer is a stagnant company where innovation is not encouraged and where it all revolves around surviving the next month or two. Luckily, there are also ways in which you can recognise this before you take the job offer and save yourself a couple of months. Likewise, you can recognise a company that shows promise and that you will love working for.
But, how exactly do you do this?
Their Employees are Happy
The first indication that you will enjoy your potential new employer is to see a whole bunch of smiling faces working for them. There is a number of ways in which you can determine how happy a company’s employees are.
You can check out their website and their ‘About Us’ page. If they feature a blog, you can check out if they have employee stories or if they like to praise their employees for doing something extraordinary. Another way to go about this is to check their social media profiles, as well as the social media profiles of people who work there.
If you reach the interview stage, you can have a look around when you go in for the interview and try to gauge the “feel” of the office. If you see nothing but gloomy faces that are just waiting for the end of the workday, you may be walking into a lion’s den.
Besides trying to figure out how happy the current employees are with their company, you should also check to see how long people work for them on average. A good source is LinkedIn, where people usually share the time they spent with a certain company. If the majority of their past employees worked there for a couple of years or less, they might be one of those revolving-door companies where people sign on and then leave after discovering that the company is nowhere near as good as it was advertised.
Finally, you have every right to ask about employee benefits and perks beforehand. If they are being vague about what they offer, there is probably something they are trying to hide and you will do well to dig deeper.
They Are Making Money
This can sound cynical, but the world of business is about making money. In order for a company to be solid and stable, it will have to make money. A company’s success is even more important if they give stock options to their employees, which is something many startups do.
In essence, if the company is not built on a sound business plan and a sustainable financial model, it is highly unlikely to last and you might soon find yourself on the job market once again.
A great place to start is financial statements such as annual reports. These statements clearly show what the company is doing with its resources and how much revenue they are pulling in. In addition to this, many such reports will also include statements about talent management and promotion practices.
Depending on the country, major companies do these financial statements and annual reports regularly, while smaller ones may not be so forthcoming unless required to do so by the law. Fortunately, there are always other ways in which you can find out how the company is doing. Sometimes you can gather this from the news or by speaking to people in the industry.
Their Culture is Aimed at the Future
While finding out about a potential employer’s financial standing and employee management can be pretty straightforward, there is something else you should try and learn about which may be more difficult to do –company culture.
Namely, all companies are different. Even those in the same industry and of the same stature. Simply put, all companies develop and promote a certain culture that can affect your future career there.
More precisely, you are looking for a company that looks to the future and that promotes such a culture.
For instance, you can find out if they encourage innovation and disruption within the company. You could find proof of this on their blog, for example. If one of their employees comes up with a great new practice or idea (even though it might be really left-field) and they are clearly complimentary of this accomplishment, then it is clear they value an innovative and inquisitive approach to work. Putting out new products and services is another indication that they are never settling for status quo and that they are always pushing forward.
You can also learn about a company’s culture from the partnerships they have and the tools they use. For instance, a company that does not care about their employees’ comfort or new trends will utilise Teamwork as their project management solution. A company that is future-bound and proactive will use Active Collab as a Teamwork alternative. And this is just one example of a company that cares about how they get things done.
Another indicator of a progressive company is if it is involved in charitable projects and socially-conscious activities that help their local community. The companies that will be very forthcoming and proud of this, as they well should be.
Recognising a great potential employer is definitely something job seekers should learn to do. It will help them avoid toxic companies and concentrate on those that have potential to become their home away from home. You can find great employers by conducting research during job search on company reviews and also take part in reviewing companies that you know of to help put this information out there. Take this quick survey to help rank companies in Kenya.