Do you know enough about your new employer?

By the time you get to the offer stage of the hiring process, a company will have a fairly detailed picture of the kind of person they are about to employee.

From the details you have put on a CV or application form to all the information you impart through social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, a company will have acquired enough to make the informed decision that you are the right one for their vacancy.

But what about you?  Do you know enough about the company you are about to join?  Do you feel that a bit of a Google search and a couple of questions at the end of the interview will really give you enough to understand if the business is the right fit for you?

Remember that it can be difficult enough to find a new job without making a mistake and ending up in a job you don’t enjoy.

I’ve listed below a few ways a perspective employee can determine if they are really suited to the business they are about to join:

New Employer: Use your own network to your advantage

If you don’t know anybody who has directly worked for the organisation, do you know anybody who has come into contact with the company?  They may be customers or suppliers and their experiences will give you a perspective on the kind of business you are thinking of joining.

You can also type the company into LinkedIn to find people who currently work there and take a look at their Facebook profiles to see if there are any mentions of being disgruntled in the workplace.

New Employer: A little surveillance goes a long way

If the company is local, why not pop along around at 5pm and observe people coming out of work.  Are people leaving the place relatively content and upbeat?  Are they chatting with their fellow colleagues?  Or are they leaving work late looking disgruntled and worn out?  Is the car park slow to empty, meaning people are regularly working late?

By observing people’s behaviour as they leave the offices, you should get some more insight into the type of company you are looking to work for.

New Employer: The importance of teamwork

Teamwork is an intrinsic part of any organisations success.  But how important is teamwork to the company culture of your new company?  How do they get things done?  Would you need to fight your way through masses of red tape to get a decision made?  Are there already teams in place and where would you fit in?

I once joined an organisation unaware that two of the four team members I would be managing were unsuccessful in vying for the managerial position that I’d managed to clinch.  And because of the resentment they felt when they didn’t get the position; it took me a few months to get them on side.

With that in mind, you should always ensure that you enquire about the team dynamic at interview stage and if possible request a meeting with your new team prior to starting.  That way you will get an ideal opportunity to get a real sense of member dynamics and team functionality.

New Employer: Google and Google some more

You will have checked the company on Google prior to the interview.  But how in depth did you go?  Like many candidates, did you basically find enough information to repeat parrot fashion in the interview?  Or did you really dig deep to understand if they really are the right company for you?

Expand your research to ascertain if the company has any outstanding lawsuits, scathing reviews from unhappy customers, bankruptcies or any other negative PR that may make them a bad choice.

New Employer: Summary

Of course the real acid test to whether a job is right for you, will come once you have joined a business, but by carrying out some of the research above on the background of the new business, you will reduce the risk of being disappointed.

I hope you feel some of the information above was of use. If you would like any further advice on more general HR issues, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can contact us here, or alternatively pop along to our knowledge network on LinkedIn, which you can find here. Or if you would like to contact me personally, my Twitter and LinkedIn links are below.

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