Are You Overlooking These Three Company Facts Before Applying?

By Bob Evans
In September 14, 2016

Earlier this year, Candidate Viewpoint released the results from a study of job seeker trends in 2015. This study examined the type of content job seekers sought out before applying to a company during their job search.

The results were intriguing to our recruiting team here, because the results showed a major shift in the questions they are usually asked by candidates during the process. Most of the staff here expected categories like salary, job requirements and benefits to be at the top, but boy were they wrong as you can see in the graphic below.

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In this week’s “Three for Thursday,” we examine some of the top responses provided in this study and whether or not you as a job seeker are making the mistake of not seeking out as much information as possible on these areas before you apply to a company.why-candidates-apply-to-companies

Company Values – 41.8%

Admittedly, I was shocked this was the top response in this study. Don’t get me wrong, it is important to understand the values of the company—but usually that is something, from my job seeking experience, that is asked about during the interview or inferred based on what you see and hear during that first experience in the building.

To see that job seekers are trying to find out about a company’s values before they apply is encouraging because it shows they are looking at the long-term when searching for potential employers. However on the company side, it puts pressure on them to find a way to convey their company values digitally before having an opportunity to speak with a candidate and show them what the company is all about.

As a job seeker, if this is something you are not actively seeking out prior to the interview—you should start doing so now. However, I will caution to “not judge a book by its cover” because not all companies know how to truly show in a digital manner what their values are. You do not want to rule out what could potentially be a great career opportunity because someone’s website is not up to date.

Employee Testimonials – 34.9%

Thanks to websites like Glassdoor, there is a plethora of information from people who have worked at various companies. Unfortunately thanks to websites like Glassdoor, negativity can stand out more than positivity when it comes to employees coming and going from companies.

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Think about it, if you are currently working at a company you are probably not going to take to a public forum to share your thoughts about working there. So, usually the people writing on those websites are those who have likely had a negative experience and have left. As a job seeker, this means that because of these mini testimonials out there you will have more exposure to the negatives of working for a company than the positives.

Many job seekers take the negative reviews as gospel about a company, failing to realize that these reviews are likely in the minority of the overall opinion of a company. So, if you are one of the people who are out there researching testimonies, I would suggest trying to find more sources than just review sites like Glassdoor. Check the company’s website or reach out to someone who currently works at the company via LinkedIn or Twitter, these will be more effective ways to find out what current employees think about the company.

Answers to ‘Why’ People Stay Here – 23.7%

In today’s employment market, a lot of industry leaders and bloggers are trying to push the agenda that job seekers do not stay at jobs very long. Well if this is the case, then why is No. 5 on the list “job seekers looking at reasons why people stay” at various companies?

It seems to me that many of you are looking for a reason to stay before you take a job, but then as time goes on those reasons possibly change. For employers, they need to develop retention plans to keep top talent like you in their organizations. Steady paychecks are no longer the only motivation many want as their careers go on. They want opportunities to earn more money, growth within the organization, take on additional responsibility and be rewarded when their contributions lead to major company growth.

If you cannot find the answer to this question prior to going into a job interview with someone, make sure you ask this question. Honestly, be blunt about it. Many hiring managers tell our staff they like when candidates ask them good questions, so bring it up on day one. It shows you are proactive, but it also provides you with clarity on the growth potential before you sign the offer letter—and like any job seeker, all you want is to have the best understanding of a company as possible before you head into their organization.

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Bob is the Digital Content, Marketing Manager for NexGoal and has been writing in the digital world for 10-plus years.