Hiring managers routinely vet job candidates, weeding out those with questionable skills or who might prove a bad fit with the rest of the team.
AV integrators do the same when they’re reviewing potential acquisition targets or companies they want to acquire them or their assets, especially when the deal involves a whole lot of zeros after the dollar sign. Culture and fit is the thing company principals highlight most when they complete those deals.
Vetting isn’t a one-way street, though, and job seekers should do a little of their own, says Bob Slater, co-author with his son Nick of “Look Out Above! The Young Professional’s Guide to Success.”
“You need a place to work that offers more than just a job,” says Bob Slater. “Anytime you are deciding whether to work for someone, you should look for evidence of three things: capable leadership, a compelling business model with ample profits and margins, and a supportive culture where your contributions will be recognized.”
When you are out of work, accepting a job—any job—can seem like the right move, but that doesn’t mean regrets won’t await you once you realize something doesn’t quite click between you and your new bosses, says Nick Slater.
Plenty of people have experienced just that situation—much to their chagrin. A Gartner Inc. survey released in 2019, for example, found that 40 percent of Gen Z workers regretted accepting a job offer.
How and Why You Should Vet Employers
The Slaters suggest taking a moment to do the following as you rush to find your next job:
- Compare what is said to what is done. Either through observation, research or by asking current or former employees, you can piece together whether what your leaders say about the company lines up with reality, Nick Slater says. “The company might claim that its growth provides opportunities for advancement, but in truth the hours demanded are suffocating, pay is low, and turnover is high,” he says.
- Determine whether the company aligns with your values. You don’t want to find yourself in a job where the company’s values are in opposition to your own Bob Slater says. Maybe you have strong environmental views, but the company has no concerns about its environmental impact. “If you decide to turn down an offer because your values and the company’s aren’t a match, you won’t be alone,” he says.
A survey by Jobvite found that 42% of those polled said they would reject a job offer if the company lacked diversity or clear goals in improving diversity in hiring.
- Make sure the job is legitimate. If lassoing a job isn’t difficult enough, job seekers have something else to worry about. The FBI has warned of cyber criminals posing as legitimate employers by spoofing company websites and posting fake job openings on popular online job boards. The aim: gather personal information from the victims, such as bank account numbers. One way to dodge such scams and be certain the job is legitimate is to research the company. Which, of course, you should be doing anyway, Nick Slater says. If you’re suspicious, verify websites and phone numbers independently.
- Find a mentor. A trusted counselor can help guide you through a job search, provide advice, and serve as a sounding board after you land the job, Bob Slater says. This person could be a college professor, a boss from a summer internship, or anyone else who has the experience to give you guidance and hopefully provide you with contacts.
“If you do end up in the wrong job, you can always move on to another job that uses more of your best skills, gets you closer to finding your niche, and perhaps even pays more,” said Bob Slater. “But don’t quit your job before you get another one.
“You don’t know how long the downtime between jobs will be and, if a recession hits while you’re job hunting, you could be out of work for years. That said, eventually you will want to move on so you can align your fortunes with a team worthy of your time and talent,” he said.