Saturday, September 12, 2015

Vetting Employers

Many people regret having taken a particular job because they didn't realize what the organization, boss, or job was really like.

The savvy job seeker vets the job and employer in all these ways:

1. Ask colleagues for recommended employers or work groups within an organization. Describe the sort of environment you work best in: fast-paced, high-level, quiet, relaxed with emphasis on work-life balance, techie, etc.

2. Read between the lines of advertised jobs. Ads that, for example, ask that the candidate be "high-energy and self-motivated" gives you a clue.

3. Check out a company on It offers reviews of companies. Like all such reviews they're overweighted by shills and the disgruntled but if there are a number of reviews, the noise tends to cancel out.

4. During the interviews, ask questions to tease out info on the job, the boss, the coworkers, and workplace culture. For example, "What would you expect I'd accomplish in the first 30 days?" or "Every boss is different. In what way are you different from other bosses?"

5. After being offered the job but before accepting it, ask if you can visit your workplace both to negotiate terms and get a feel for the place. Hang out in the break room and ask employees questions like, "I've been offered a job here but haven't accepted yet. Is there anything you feel I should know that might not appear in the employee handbook?" Of course, you won't always get revealing answers but it can't hurt to ask.

Vetting an employer that way puts the odds of your being happy in your new job in your favor. The other component is you: your skills and your attitude. Also do a good job in those departments, and I'm betting all will be well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wish I had asked for the expectations of the position before taking my current position because unfortunately I found out after being on the job a couple of weeks that they had very unreasonable expectations. Also they use intimidation and bullying tactics thinking they are helping me learn when they are actually making things worse. I am currently trying to leave this job because of how much I hate working for my managers.


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