How Should Candidates Evaluate Prospective Employers?

Traditionally in the interview process, it is the candidate that is carefully evaluated by a prospective employer. However, should a candidate turn the tables?

In most cases, a candidate will do very little evaluation on a prospective employer beyond some moderate research to prepare for an interview. However, in limiting their research, a candidate may be preventing themselves from making fully informed career decisions. Instead, a candidate should view a prospective employer as they do any unknown entity, and conduct a well thought out evaluation before making any decisions.

Evaluation Steps for Candidates

Contact Your Network

Contacting first and second-degree connections can be an excellent way to find either current or former employees of a prospective employer. Utilizing this approach, a candidate can get first-hand information directly from people familiar with a potential employer.

Review the Company’s Website Carefully

The second place to go for information on a prospective employer is their website. However, when doing this research, go beyond the superficial. Don’t gloss over their site but take an in-depth look. Study the biographies of company officers, current, and past work projects, and company blogs. Gather information and take notes in preparation for your next step, more in-depth research.

Research their Clients and Subcontractors, along with their Top Competitors

With your research gathered from a prospective employer’s website, it’s time to add more sources. Head to sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor to research company officers, clients, and subcontractors.

While looking at a prospective employer’s overall business, it’s essential to include top competitors. Evaluating competitors allows a candidate to better gauge the actual market of their potential employer. This information can help a candidate feel assured that they are making a sound decision.

Use Social Media

When researching a prospective employer, social media is an invaluable resource. In a social media search, look not only at an employer’s official accounts but also to platforms run by current and former employees (found via LinkedIn). When browsing the official accounts of a prospective employer, how do they interact with followers and what is the tone of their comments? Are they respectful, cold, or superficial? Concerning accounts run by current or former employees, zero in on reviews, complaints, and workplace concerns. However, keep in mind to not read too much into negative reviews by former employees since these can be biased and come from a place of resentment.

Contact a Professional Recruiter

The best way to get honest, in-depth information on a prospective employer is to contact a recruiter. A professional recruiter knows industry employers in their market. A recruiter can best gauge if a potential employer is a good match for a candidate and may even be able to connect a candidate with a current employee of a prospective employer.

Moving Forward

For candidates to make informed career decisions, it is essential that candidates research, review, and evaluate all prospective employers. By doing in-depth research, a candidate can begin a relationship with a potential employer with their eyes open. If a candidate still has questions regarding a prospective employer, it’s best to reach out to a professional recruiter. At Open Systems, we have the market knowledge and industry connections to help our candidates succeed in their job searches. Contact us today to learn more.


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