Posted by: goalpath | November 9, 2009

Why You Should Research Potential Employers Before Searching for a Job?

Let’s face it, given the economy and the number of people out of work, most people looking for a job are not going to be that selective. They would be happy just to find a job. There are others who believe that it makes more sense to begin the process by screening companies before submitting resumes to every company that has an open position that coincides with their job skills, background and experience.

I tend to believe that you should do a company search first and a job search second. Why? My reasoning has to do with the fact that every company has a different set of values, a different culture and a different potential for growth. Consequently, you should consider each of these factors prior to submitting your resume.

Now, if you are worried about making your next house payment or feeding your family, then all bets are off. You should probably apply for any and every job that you think you qualify for in order to feed your family and pay your bills. That doesn’t mean you should give up looking for your dream job. You can certainly continue that search while you are working somewhere else.

It really depends on the urgency factor. If you are currently employed and just looking to enhance your career by finding a better position at another company, then you have all the time in the world to job hunt. On the other hand, if you need a job this week, then you will most likely take the first one that comes along.

Before screening potential employers, you should spend some time reflecting on what is important to you? Your priorities should dictate the type of company to solicit. Some people put more emphasis on the company’s potential growth and available stock options. Others believe that it is more important to find a company that offers long term security without that much advancement. And some want to go to work for a company with a social conscience or a company that is known for its environmental efforts. And by the way, a successful socially responsible company is not an oxymoron.

Regardless of your other priorities, corporate culture should be a key factor in your search. Despite how good a particular job offer might sound, you aren’t going to last long in a company if you can’t assimilate easily and comfortably into their corporate culture.  Some of you might want to work for a company that is a market leader in an emerging technology field. There are others who are set on working at a company that ranks in the “Top 10 best companies to work for” category.

According to a recent survey of 100,000 people in 34 countries by global workforce solutions leader, Kelly Services, about 90% of the survey respondents were more likely to work for an organization that was considered ethically and socially responsible.  Of that group, Baby Boomers were more discerning than their Gen Y or Gen X counterparts, but not by that much. Almost 80% of those surveyed were more likely to work for a company that was considered environmentally responsible. And about 46% of those surveyed were willing to forego pay or promotion to work for a company with a good reputation.

Employees appear to be more fulfilled when working for organizations that focus not only on the bottom line, but also on community involvement and service. During my own career,I have met and worked with a lot of people who place a higher priority on their compensation and benefits, than on their organization’s philanthropy and social consciousness.  That said, I do believe American worker’s views are changing. At least, I hope they are.

Just keep in mind, that high pay and great benefits won’t satisfy most people’s need for fulfillment if the company that employs them is not ethical, responsible or doesn’t act in their community’s best interests. And as I like to say, “Karma will ultimately find you…and paybacks are hell”. There are thousands of reputable, socially and environmentally responsible companies in America. A good many of the companies in emerging or leading edge technology fields are progressive enough to understand the value of social and environmental responsibility.  Remember Google’s mantra, “Do no harm”. Yes, I am sure that some of you who might argue that they are not fulfilling their promise now they are a multi billion dollar company.

So what is your take on this topic? In your job search, do you search for companies first and jobs second? Are factors such as compensation and benefits your first priority or do you place more emphasis on the company’s reputation, social conscience or growth potential?

If you are a Baby Boomer and haven’t joined our community, www.boomeropinion.com, please consider it. It is free and only takes a couple of minutes to sign up. You can share your viewpoint and voice your opinion on the critical issues facing America. And if we recruit enough of you, we can positively impact business and political policies around the country.

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