Jobs are becoming more plentiful in our recovering economy. Potential employees may have the luxury of selecting between alternate jobs or may pass on a job with the expectation that a better one will come next. People may no longer have to take the first job that comes their way in order to put food on the table. And, if someone needs a job, sometimes that job offer may not be the right one.
Before accepting a job offer, every potential employee should perform due diligence and determine if this is the best employment opportunity. Three factors to consider are.
Who is This Company That Wants to Hire You?
1. Is the company financially stable and healthy? If you are going to accept a position, performing due diligence is vital. Of course many companies are well known, stable and there is no issue. However, local and regional companies may be on shaky financial ground or there may be other reasons to avoid this job. A conscientious potential employee ought to check by looking for bankruptcies, lawsuits, online complaints and other resources.
It is important to know who you are dealing with so that you can be sure that you will be paid.
2. What do you think of those who run the company? A good way to understand any company is to know who runs it. What kind of people are they? What about the division, department or area where you will be working – who are the supervisors and what are they like? What about your immediate boss?
You need to know whether you will be comfortable with the people you will be working with.
3. What about the company culture? There is more to a company than knowing that the company has the ability to pay your salary. What about its culture? Does it have a mission statement and, if so, is it one you agree with and aligns with your values? Is the company green and eco-friendly or not? Does it do anything to help the community and “give back” some of its profits? Do you understand its products or services and are those in line with your expectations and values?
A potential employer does not need to be perfect in every way but you ought to understand who you are dealing with and whether you will be proud to say you work there.
Just What is the Job?
Knowing about the company is only the first step. The next step is specific information about the job. Three factors to consider are:
1. Before you say “yes”, know what the job is. If there is a job description, have you seen it? If there isn’t one, why doesn’t the company have one? Even more important than knowing what you will do is knowing what will be expected of you. Do you have a clear understanding of job expectations and the measurements used to determine if you met them? When and how will the company give feedback to let you know if you are on track, failing or exceeding expectations? Does the company provide written performance evaluations? If not, why?
Success in any company involves knowing your job and what is expected of you, and being able to prove you met or exceeded those expectations.
2. Compensation issues are important too. Some things are easy. The amount of pay is just an agreed upon amount. But, there is more. Do you know what benefits are offered and whether they are listed in writing? Does the company provide things like sick leave, vacation pay, health insurance, disability and life insurance? Retirement plans can make a significant difference in total compensation. If there are bonuses or commissions, are they discretionary or determined by some formula? If they are discretionary what criteria is used?
When you take a job, make sure you know base compensation as well as value of benefits and potential commissions and/or bonuses.
3. Will you be treated fairly? There are many factors to consider, including compensation and work conditions. If there are industry standards, are your compensation and benefits consistent with those of others in the industry? How is your pay in comparison to your prior earnings? In assessing compensation consider base compensation and value of benefits.
In the end, fairness is a state of mind and if you feel it is fair then it is.
Is This the Job for You?
Only you can answer this question. But the best way to answer it is to have done your homework, thought about the issues raised here and gone in with your eyes open. Good luck!