Company culture, workplace relations, evaluating a company, social media, interviews
CAREER / 15 October 2018
5 Criteria to Evaluate a Company
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Britta Greenhalgh
Marketing Assistant

The tedious resume building, the tiring process of job searching, the excitement of getting replies from companies, the nervousness of doing job interviews and the excitement of getting the employment letter are the steps of getting a new job for recent graduates


Accepting the job offer and signing contracts are the most exciting parts of finding a job, but how do you know the job is right for you? After all, you may have this job for the rest of your life. Before signing that contract, there are some things you might want to consider. 


The following lists of 5 criteria should be thought out when evaluating the company you plan to work with:

 

1. Development of the Industry

Development of the industry is the main business that a company or the client of a company is associated with. In other words, it is the service or the products that a company is selling or making. For instance, Verizon is associated with telecommunication and Google focuses on developing a search engine and Big Data.


Development of the industry is important since following the right trend in society will be an extra boost to the company. The fast-growing industry of internet development, for example, helps companies focusing on smartphone development, phone applications development, social media, and internet-based businesses such as Prosky to grow. Whereas a company focusing on old technologies and manufacturers of the past will experience more drawbacks compared to the others. 


When evaluating a company ask yourself, is there an upside to this company? Is there a market out there for what this company is selling or providing? There are several ways to find out for yourself how the company is doing. Grant van der Harst of Anglo Liners says that when evaluating a company, you need to:

Look at the company's website to get a more in-depth look into the business, outside of the role advertised. Take a look at the ‘about me’ page, read more about the company's achievements to see what exactly the job your advertising for entails, as well as discovering what other people in the company have achieved since working there.” 

By reading reviews, asking questions during the interview and looking into the company's website, you will find if the development of the industry has potential.

 

2. Strategic Direction

The strategic direction of the company is mainly the vision of the company. A CEO that only focuses on making money for himself would be a bad example of a good strategic direction. A CEO with a good strategic direction of the company should focus on growing the company as well as growing all the people in his/her team. To know if the company that wants to hire you has a good strategic direction, start by doing your own research by looking at the company’s website, asking questions during the interview or reading reviews on sites such as Google, Yelp and Glassdoor. As you do your own research you can find out if the company's vision lines up with your standards and vision. 


It’s not all about you being right for the company, but also the company being right for you. It has to go hand in hand or else you might get stuck working there and hating it. Chaz Egnew, Intern Extraordinaire at Way Solutions shares his personal experience visiting different companies. He states “One business I visited a small boutique firm and it seemed like the business owner was rather tired in their field. Their business didn't seem to have much life to it, and I value work that’s exciting!  I need people who are exciting to work with.” 


Obviously, this kind of environment didn't seem like the type that would allow him to thrive and grow. Chaz continued to evaluate other companies looking for people who were engaging and loved their jobs before finally finding one that "just seemed to fit". Chaz continues on to say, 

“If I had to state the core of my advice, I would say know yourself. Know who you are, what you love to do, and what kind of people you like. Then, when you go in for an interview, read a job description, or visit a company, look for the things that align with your values. And finally, go with your gut! If you don't have a good vibe, don't work there. If you feel on fire, go for it!”

 

3. Company Culture

Company culture focuses on the daily environment of the company. A great company culture should be supportive of all the employees. In a sales and marketing company, a good company culture should support student mentality among all the workers including the co-founders. Learning from each other every day by making summaries, breaking down the day for everybody, identify the hot spots and the pain spots for the employees and help them improve is an example of supportive company culture.


Most companies ask top leaders and employees to share their experiences and their strategies every week so that other employees can learn from top leaders and improve at the same time. The atmosphere of the company is the best place for you to practice what you have learned especially the interpersonal skills. Watching how your co-workers contact and connect with each other, how your leader strengthens the team, and how your boss manages the company is a way to let you view examples of real-life situations. In order to know if the company you are interviewing with has a good company culture, you need to ask questions and observe. Katie Derrick, Senior Content Writer for Ben Sherman suggested that while you are in the interview you can directly ask questions like; “What is the company culture like here? And, What do you do outside of work as a team?” Katie goes on to say that 

“If those interviewing you seem enthusiastic about the culture, as well as giving example of past events they’ve attended together, or share memories from a night they spent together at the pub, you know they are being genuine and take an interest in each other's lives outside of work.”

Not only can you ask the interviewer these questions but you can ask other employees as well. If it is inconvenient or unprofessional to ask staff members in the office, you can again read online reviews.


4. Employees’ Training System

Being in a new company without any hands-on experience is tough for all recent graduates since they have found out that what they have learned in school does not solve all practical problems. Therefore, a company that has a comprehensive training system would give all new employees chances to watch, to learn, and to get hands-on experience quickly to get into work is necessary. 


A good training system should involve a very comprehensive breakdown for each day the employee is in the office. A leader or an experienced employee should be assigned to you in order to give direct and indirect tutor at all time. Online videos and proper training materials should also be given to you for you to get more theoretical knowledge on the cases or the products that you are involved with. 


Training is not just limited to the technical skills that you need doing a specific job! A good training course is able to offer you both hard skills and soft skills. 

- Hard skills are measurable, quantitative just like math and computer skills; whereas soft skills are interpersonal skills, qualitative skills that enable you to market yourself such as writing a resume or a cover letter. 

- Soft skills are skills that need experiences to build up, but they can also be learned from other people’s experiences and online training courses from websites such as ProSky.

The importance of a good training system is that it allows you to build and learn at the same time.

 

5. Opportunity for Employee’s Growth

Opportunities for Employees are important for you if you decided to stay in the company. A system that supports promotion based on performance and merit will provide you better opportunities than a system that supports promotion based on time spent in the company. Opportunities also include changes in salary and payment for different levels. A company that can identify all stages of promotion and all of the differences among all levels has a good system. Opportunities such as paid business trips, national conferences, and international trips will allow employees to stay motivated and make more of an effort.


Opportunities in a career are important for personal growth; but proper ways of knowing, seeking and getting the opportunities are important as well. Qualifications such as professional knowledge, professional experience, and consistency at work are essential for getting those opportunities. In addition, soft skills such as connections and work ethic are also the main determinants that will help you reach these opportunities.


It can be stressful and exciting trying to find a job, but don’t let the stress overwhelm you. Take one step at a time. Start by jotting down what you love and what qualities you are looking for in a company. Keep on researching and following these simple criteria when in the interview process. Don’t worry to much because while many of you are still worried about getting those professional experiences and “reality” classes, Prosky is here to help with different classes that guide you through your first job and blog posts that offer you tips and answers you may have.



Updated 10/15/2018