What should you do when you find a job posting that interests you? Before you fill out the application, or submit a resume, even before you call your recruiter, you need to do your homework. Researching prospective employers can give you the information you need to position yourself ahead of other applicants.
- Who oversees each department?
- What types of projects has the company been involved with?
- What’s the company culture like?
- How do their wages compare with other companies in their region or industry?
- Is there an opportunity for growth?
- Can you anticipate their pain points? Lack of resources, budgeting, rapid growth?
Every detail you can uncover can help you better understand what they may be looking for in an employee. Then, you can use that information to tailor your cover letter and resume to their needs. You will also feel more confident during an interview.
How Can You Learn More About Prospective Employers?
Fortunately, you have the internet. Online there are numerous tools at your disposal to help you research prospective employers. If you aren’t sure where to start on your job hunt, check for potential companies using the following tools.
1. Go to the company website.
We suggest that you scour the company website. Look at their services, their mission, and their history. Take notes so you can have that information in front of you during a phone interview or even in person. Jot down any questions you think of as you peruse their site. Also, if you are applying for a developer position, make notes on how you might improve the user experience.
You should also look at their posted positions. Often, if a company is looking to hire new employees, they will place a “now hiring” section on their website.
2. Social Media
Social media provides a great way to see how companies interact with their consumers. Since social media typically acts as a more personal method of marketing, you can learn more about a prospective employer’s values and personality. If you are applying for a marketing position, then you definitely want to get a feel for their brand identity so you can better understand their goals and motivation.
If you’ve just started job hunting and don’t have a specific position in mind, then you should start with your network. Ask friends and colleagues who they have enjoyed working for or with. Your immediate network may possess information not available online, including soon-to-open positions.
LinkedIn is probably the second most valuable resource (apart from the company website) for researching prospective employers. Through LinkedIn, you can find the names of company officers and key personnel. Many times you can glean information about past projects and you might even find a connection to the company through your own network.
It’s a recruiter’s job to bridge the gap between employer and applicant, matching them up for interviews or contract labor. As such, recruiters are an excellent way to get company information when researching prospective employers. There are also additional benefits to working with a recruiter.
- They may hear of an open position at a company where you would like to work before it’s actually posted.
- A recruiter usually has an ongoing relationship with hiring companies and can give you the inside scoop.
- Some recruiters will hire you themselves and then “contract” you out to other companies.
- A recruiter often has knowledge of the hiring manager’s budget and can guide you during salary negotiations.
Questions You Should Ask Prospective Employers
Once you’ve researched a company, you can develop a series of questions for your interview. It’s a guarantee that they will ask you if you have some. When they do, you can sit there and gawk at them, or wow them with your grasp of their business. Take these general questions and tailor them to the company you are interviewing with.
- “What is your company’s primary goal?”
- “How do you expect employees to help you accomplish that goal?”
- “Which qualities does your ideal candidate possess?”
- “How soon are you looking to fill this position?”
- “Does the job opportunity present any challenges?”
Remember, asking intelligent questions lets a company know that you took the time to educate yourself regarding their services. They will probably see you as a much more serious candidate than someone with no questions about the company.
How Can TechBridge Help?
Our goal is to bridge the gap between business and employee, matching qualified workers with the companies who need them. If you have any further questions or you’re ready to start the recruiting process, contact us today.