20 June 2016
While we all know that company research is a key step in the job application or interview process, many of us do not spend enough time scrolling through search results. It’s easy to only focus on details that may help you in an interview, but you can learn a lot more about how a company operates by analyzing their online presence as a whole. It may not seem immediately obvious, but there are several red flags that can be uncovered in this search process. Whether it’s enough to reconsider your interest in the company is up to you, but these hints at least warrant some hesitation on your part. Here are three warning signs that deserve a deeper look: Outdated digital presence Technology has advanced quickly in the last 10 years, and the majority of business can often be conducted online. As a result, companies have ramped up website design and social media presence to better serve their customers on the web. While it can be difficult to keep up with the latest web design trends, a company’s website should not look like it hasn’t been updated since the late nineties. With internet searches being a key traffic driver for most businesses, it is not a good sign when a company does not understand the power of an effective website or the importance of investing in a strong online presence. The inability to grasp the efficacy of new (now, traditional) business mediums suggests that management might have become complacent with old technology, which is not the best way to move forward in your career. Similarly, it could be a good idea to check out a prospective organization’s social media profiles. While not all businesses need to be active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you should be able to find a few updates when perusing their social network profiles. Bad press You know the old saying, “perception is reality.” Unfortunately, no matter your impression of the organization, the public’s perception should play a role in your decision. If there are numerous articles pointing to questionable behavior from the company, it may be best not to be affiliated. This could have a large impact of others’ impressions of you, and it could affect your ability to get hired in the future. Poor employee reviews Employee reviews from Glassdoor or PayScale may be the best indicator of whether you would be happy in this role. Once again, remember to take these with a grain of salt, and look for a consistent pattern of dissatisfaction, as opposed to one poor experience. Nevertheless, former employees are typically very honest about their experience, which can provide you with more insight about the company.