I believe choosing an employer you are working with or going to work for, is vital in your development, growth and success in life.
I have therefore listed below what I believe to be some of the top signals to look out for when deciding who you are going to work with/for.
1. THE COMPANY REPUTATION IS NEGATIVE
The easiest way of checking the reputation of an employer your choosing is to check online, but far more importantly direct with customers and also colleagues (past and present via LinkedIn) – it’s never been easier and quicker!
Like anything, there will always be one that is an amazing review and another that is the complete opposite, so I would suggest researching several and paying attention to any potential trends and patterns.
This can be a very telling exercise, and could potentially save you a lot of time in the long term – so, do your due diligence.
2. YOU DON’T HAVE A JOB SPEC
If you have not been given a job description, or the one you have is unclear, I highly recommend that you address this with your line manager immediately, or run in the other direction!
You simply cannot accept a position without a clear description of your responsibilities and expectations. Not only can this damage your job progression, but it could also damage your reputation.
Remember, before joining any company you should have a very clear idea of:
- The employer’s expectations of you
- Your expectations of your employer
- How your progression will be measured
3. YOU SPOT UNPROFESSIONALISM
Professionalism is a very broad word… it can mean anything from the attire somebody is wearing, their attitude during a meeting to their opinion of others.
Therefore, choosing your employer you must know if you are in an interview and the interviewer is being disrespectful about somebody else, take note. Say you are having a conversation with somebody and they play with their phone during the conversation, take note. If you turn up to an interview and they are inappropriately dressed, take note. All of these have one thing in common… unprofessionalism.
Seriously, if they can’t take interviews, conversations or meetings seriously, then what will they take seriously?
4. HIGH DEPARTMENTAL TURNOVER
If you notice a trend of high turnover within the company, take it as a sign. (All very accessible via LinkedIn)
Ask questions about why people are leaving (send messages via LinkedIn and ask for opinions and feedback). The answers and reactions will be equally telling to the high turnover.
When you work with people, ask them how long they have been at the company, how they are finding it etc. as this will be another red or green flag for your decision.
5. THE OFFICE ENVIRONMENT IS FLAT
If you do not feel a buzz in your office it is normally due to a “management” problem. Be sure, when starting in a new company, to analyse the best environments vs. the worst.
Bad environments often signal bad company cultures, negative employee attitudes and a lack of staff interactions.
If the office environment is bad or has an air of awkwardness re-think your move as you won’t want to spend 8 hours a day in a poor environment… it’s demoralising and demotivating!
6. LACK OF LEADERSHIP
Whether the lack of leadership is from your direct line manager or the overall company management, it is the most damaging aspect of any career.
7. PROCESS CONFUSION
Are you confused about the company processes? This is a key indicator of whether the company takes certain areas of the business seriously. For example, if you are a sales company and the administration processes are weak, but your sales guys have full attention, it indicates that the management has not created the right culture for back-office, client service and the overall client proposition.
Learn and take note of the structures and processes of each department and how things integrate with each other. Well defined processes and procedures are key to a company’s growth and success.
8. POOR COMMUNICATION
Communication is key for all relationships. If there is a lack of communication, it demonstrates a massive lack of interest.
Communication can be from setting up an initial introduction meeting and not hearing from somebody for days on end or even having meeting minutes shared with you or your team.
Transparency provides trust and is extremely welcomed by each employee.
If I had to name one deal-breaker for me, it’s the lack of communication.
9. MISSED PAY-RUNS
Errors in pay runs are always disappointing and can create unnecessary worry and concern. However, an error that happens more than once is unacceptable and cannot be justified.
Full-time employment is often the mainstream of income, therefore if this contains errors it can cause major issues with regards to mortgage/rent payments, etc. Employers must take this seriously, and demonstrate strong processes are in place.
The same can be said around commissions, bonuses and annual increases in salary. Companies that do not take this seriously, and to some degree try to withhold what is due, show disrespect to their staff.
10. EMPTY PROMISES
Have you ever been promised something at the interview stage and then when you start it doesn’t happen, or you aren’t given what you were promised? This is called a physiological contract.
Employers can be so desperate to recruit, that they overpromise and underdeliver, and this is simply unacceptable.
Do not settle for a company that finds making promises very easy and keeping promises so difficult. To avoid this from happening and causing issues, get into the habit of requesting everything in writing prior to starting.
So that’s my top tips on choosing your employer and what to look out for when deciding on the company you are going to work for or even stay at. Use them wisely and remember an interview process is for both parties to decide if they can work together.
Blog published by Mike Coady