You know the saying, ‘never judge a book by its cover?’ Well the same goes for a future employer. How much do you really know about them, and is it enough to make the call as to whether you want to commit to a career with them?
We’ve created a comprehensive guide to researching a company, so you can get familiar with the all important details. We’ll cover what to look out for, what to familiarise yourself with and how to determine whether your values align.
- Review their website
This is likely the first place you’ll go and for good reason! Don’t be afraid to dive deep- you’ll find a lot of what you need here. Explore the organisation’s ‘about’, ‘team’, ‘mission & values’, ‘blog’ and ‘news’ pages to learn more about the foundations of the business and establish whether it sounds like a place you can see yourself working.
If the company has a ‘projects’ or ‘work’ page, review this to get an idea of the kind of jobs you could be working on.
- Read online reviews
This will give you a general idea about what others are saying about the company, both positive and negative. Whether posted by past-employees, clients or customers; you can read reviews to find out more about a company’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Sign up to their newsletter
If your prospective employer issues a daily/weekly/monthly newsletter, sign up for it! This is a great way to gain company and industry insights, and to stay up-to-date with company projects, programs or initiatives.
- Check out their social media
This should give you a good feel for the company’s brand identity and culture. While some organisations are more active on social media than others, that in itself is useful information! Take a look through all their active channels to get an idea of the content they post, the types of people who engage with them, and the comments and feedback on posts.
- Dive into your network
Do you know anyone who currently works or has previously worked for the company? They could be a great source of information, however be wary of biases. Their experience could be very different to what yours has the potential to be!
- Look at competitors
You might be thinking, but why bother looking at other companies when I need to learn about this one? Getting an insight into the company’s competitors can be very beneficial in your research. You should be aware of competition before you interview for the position, and if you’re unsure, this is a great question to ask during the interview.
This level of research will give you a good idea of where your desired company stands in the industry, how well they’re performing and what their competitive advantages are.
- Ask questions
When it comes to interview time, you’ll likely already be pretty knowledgeable on the company. However, there may be information that you simply can’t uncover through your online research. Don’t be afraid to ask the hiring manager questions about the company in your interview, they’ll be impressed that you’re eager to learn more!
Ask questions to find out more about company culture, like ‘what do you like most about working here?’
Check out our article on the best questions to ask in an interview to get prepared.
Company research can come in handy at every stage of your job search. Before you start, it’s also useful to make note of what’s most important to you. Is it attention to detail and quality of work? Are you on the hunt for an incredible workplace culture or a solid team to work with? Decide on what you’re looking for in an employer and start researching!