When you’re searching for a new job, it can be difficult to figure out where to look for the most accurate and up-to-date information on the position you’re interested in. If you don’t know anything about a company, it can be tempting to listen to gossip, but how much of it should you let affect your decision?
Think about all of the times you’ve had an average experience at a restaurant. The food and service were good, and you received exactly what you expected. Would you feel particularly compelled to leave a review? More often than not, the answer is no. However, when we experience something extreme (good or bad), we want people to know about it. This is the same when it comes to an employer or company. Often times you will hear gossip or read information online about the extreme cases, either the very positive or the very negative, and don't often hear about the experience of the average employee.
There is no company that will satisfy 100% of employees 100% of the time. Everyone has a different working style and a company that works best for one person may not work best for another. While some prefer guidance and lots of instruction from their supervisor, others prefer autonomy and less hands on managing. Rather than relying on what others say about an organization, it will benefit you in the long run to form your own opinions based on your own personality and what kind of organization works well with you.
WHERE TO LOOK INSTEAD
Rather than relying on biased reviews or hearsay, there are a few ways you can decide for yourself that a company is the right one for you.
Look at the company website. You can find a lot of information about an organization through their website. Read through their history, their mission statement, and message from the CEO. In addition, many organizations run blogs on their websites. Reading through these is a great way to get a feel for the corporate culture of the company and begin to understand their values and beliefs.
Talk to a professional. If you are working with a recruitment consultant, they often have long-time relationships with the companies that you are applying to. Recruiters can provide you with information about the company culture, work-life balance, benefits, etc. This information will come from direct experience with the company. In addition, if the recruiter has placed candidates in that organization in the past, they will have a good idea of the type of person that is a good fit for the job. If you have concerns about a company you are applying to, try asking your recruiter for information and advice.
Find out in your interview. There is no better way to get a feel for the company than to talk to people directly at it. While an interview is a way for your potential employer to evaluate you, it is also a way for you to evaluate the employer. During the interview, ask questions about the organization, the corporate culture, benefits, work-life balance and anything else you are curious about. This way, you can find out everything you want to know directly from the source.
Pro Tip: Ask about the corporate culture during the interview, you can even ask the hiring manager what they like about working there. Read more about other things that make a great interview:
- People tend to write and talk only about extreme experiences
- Different people prefer different corporate cultures and management styles
- Instead of listening to hearsay:
- Talk to a recruitment professional
- Look through the company website
- Go in for an interview and talk to the company directly