When you’re looking for a job, you will do plenty of different things. You’ll prepare a resume, you’ll think about what roles you’re interested in, and you’ll practice interview techniques just in case you reach that stage.
However, there is one main thing you must do as well as all these other things; research. Yes, that’s right, you need to conduct research before applying for a job. What does this mean? Well, think about things from the perspective of the people looking to hire new employees. When they receive applications, they’ll research each applicant to see if everything adds up. They’ll go on your social media to ensure there are no negative things there, and they’ll search for your name in Google to make extra sure of it. Essentially, they research you to guarantee they’re not bringing a toxic person into their company with a bad history.
Bearing that in mind, shouldn’t you do the same to them? The last thing you want to do is get a job at a company that’s got a very bad past and a poor reputation. It could end with you having to do unethical things and not being happy in the workplace. This could be avoided if you did your research on the company before you applied for the job.
The question is, how do you go about researching various companies before deciding if it’s worth applying for a job or not? Personally, there are a few main avenues I’d go down, and I’ll list them below:
Google makes it so much easier to conduct any form of research as you can type the name of a company in the search bar and be greeted with thousands of results. To make things even better, there’s a tab at the top of the results called ‘news,’ click it, and you’ll see all the news articles containing that company’s name.
What are you looking for here? Basically, any evidence that the company has a good or bad history. Are there articles talking about the company because of their great charity work or for helping out in their local community? Then again, are their articles talking about fraud or any illegal happenings the business has been accused of? Generally speaking, if a big business has done something bad, it will normally make the news. Check various articles to see if there’s good or bad evidence against the company.
One of my top tips is to search for the business with a keyword after their name. For example, search for the name followed by the word ‘fraud’ or ‘tax evasion,’ you know, various negative keywords that may show you some results. This is extremely important if you’re looking for a job in the financial industry. Typically, this is where the most corruption is, as their business revolves around money. As you can see here, https://www.secwhistleblowerattorney.net/sec-whistleblower-lawyer/what-is-an-sec-whistleblower/ rewards are offered for whistleblowers that expose fraudulent financial companies. This should show you how rife and serious the corruption is, otherwise rewards wouldn’t be offered! You need to conduct news article research for any company, but double down your efforts if you’re applying for a job in finance, particularly on Wall Street.
Another great way to conduct research is to see what the overall employee experience is. You can do this in two different ways. Firstly, as you can see here https://fairygodboss.com/career-topics/employer-review-sites-employee-reviews, there are sites that offer employee reviews of companies. This is great as they review the company anonymously, so they’re not afraid of telling the truth. It’s a really effective way of seeing what employee life is like and whether or not you want to work there.
Secondly, you can do some extra digging and go on LinkedIn to do some research. Search for the company name, and you should see lots of people that have included that company in their employment info. Here’s where things get a little tricky, you don’t want to ask any current employees as they may get suspicious. Instead, look for people that say they worked for that company in the past, but now have a new job. Ask them their experiences, and see what they say.
Personally, I prefer the first option as it’s easier. However, the second option is good for getting a proper honest answer from someone where they can talk about things in more detail. Either way, finding the employee experience is a great way to see if a business treats their staff well or if they’ve ever had to deal with some dodgy goings on.
Next, you need to concern yourself with how customers perceive the business. For me, this is a good way of seeing whether or not a company is trustworthy or not. If they have one-star reviews across the board, they don’t seem like the type of business you want to work for. But, if everyone has nice things to say about them, then you can feel a bit more comfortable applying for a job there.
Perhaps the best places to look for reviews are either on Google itself or https://www.yellowpages.com/. Google reviews tend to come up when you search for the company name followed by review, there isn’t a particular site to go to. Some businesses don’t have Google reviews but do have Yellowpages reviews, and vice versa.
The last thing I’ll say is that you must be suspicious if you find no information about the company whatsoever. This is common for many jobs that are offered by call center businesses or door-to-door marketing companies looking to hire people. If you can’t find any info online about a business, not even one review, then that’s dodgy, and I recommend you don’t apply for the job.
Yes, getting your resume in check and doing all that stuff is very important. However, you must research a company before you apply for a job. Then, if you feel happy enough to apply, you need to research again if you get an interview. This time, your aim is to find out about the brand values, etc. so you’re prepared to smash the interview!