How to Conduct Effective Research on a Prospective Employer
Every article you read about best practices for job interviews says you should come prepared with research on the prospective employer. We all agree this is a great idea, however how do you conduct that research? Where do you get information on what it is really like to work for that company? And. How do you use that research in the actual interview?
When researching a potential employer, remember you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Before you begin the research, be clear about the kind of company you want to work for. In your research, you are looking for clues about the company’s values, and about their reputation within the community and industry.
TalentSource Pro Tip: we suggest making a list of attributes you are seeking in a potential employer. Things you must have, things you wish for, and deal breakers. This will help you weigh the value of an offer…and is helpful when receiving multiple offers.
START YOUR RESEARCH Step 1, head to the company’s website. Look through the company’s entire website. Look for information or links to annual reports and corporate management bios. Read the blog, watch the videos. In an article for the Washington Post, Andrea Moran comments, “Check out their statements on things like workplace culture, diversity, their leadership team, potential benefits, and recent annual reports. If you read between the lines, you can oftentimes tell if they are walking the talk when it comes to making the office an enjoyable place to work—or if they’re just saying what people want to hear.” (https://jobs.washingtonpost.com/article/how-to-research-a-potential-employer/ February 8, 2023).
- Look for the company’s presence on social media. Like and follow those accounts.
- Leadership of a company can tell the story about culture. Research those in leadership on LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
- Google the company and read the reviews, check the Better Business Bureau.
- Search the company info on Indeed.
- Check out industry statistics on the US Bureau of Labor Statistic’s website https://www.bls.gov/bls/industry.htm
It’s also important to understand who their competition is. It’s smart to give a quick review of what the competitive landscape is like.
Depending on the position you are interviewing for, it may be necessary to take a deeper dive with your research. Publications like Standard & Poor’s, Dun and Bradstreet, Thomas Register, Job Bank books, and state specific industrial directories can offer great insight. Check out stories in local news and industry business journals. Scan the headlines you find for red flags.
Finally, look to your network. Go to LinkedIn and search that company name. This will show you all the connections you have to that organization. Ask for opinions. Tap into the people you know to offer real insight into day-to-day operations. Don’t forget to talk to your TalentSource recruiting specialist about the company.
USE YOUR RESEARCH Once you’ve gathered the information through your research, be strategic how you use that info during the interview. This information is helpful for you to craft your answer to “tell me why you want to work here”. It’s also helpful in creating a few questions to ask during the interview process. Remember, your TalentSource recruiting partner can help you decipher the findings of your research and give advice on how to use during your interview.
There are many factors to consider when searching for a new career or advancing your career. TalentSource’s Smart Recruiting process removes the guesswork to get you one step closer to the career of your dreams. We’d love to talk to you about your career! Contact us at 574.968.8676 or contact@TalentSourceStaffing.com to schedule a discovery call.