Researching Potential Employers

When searching for a job, it is equally important to research potential employers. Having a good understanding of the employer can tremendously help you prepare for a job interview. By doing this research beforehand, you will have a greater understanding of what you are walking into on interview day. Questions that you may have had prior to an interview could be answered by simply doing your own research ahead of time.

What exactly do you look for when researching a potential employer? Some of the most important aspects to look at would be how long the company has been in business, and if the business has been successful. Obviously, no one wants to start a job just to find out the company is going downhill. You want to make sure the employer has built their business on a strong, solid foundation. Another part would be the company culture and morale. Other details to look at would be location, schedule, a general idea of salary and benefits, and employee retention rate. Again, researching these things before a job interview can help you come prepared for any further questions you might have.

Now the question is, HOW do you research a potential employer? With the internet right at our fingertips, it should be easy! A couple of my favorite websites are:
• Glassdoor – A free website with information compiled from anonymous employees around the world. You can narrow down your search to certain geographic locations, if you wish. The website provides information regarding salary, benefits, interview process/questions, pros/cons of working there, etc. It is a great website to research potential employers.
• LinkedIn – Search for the company page on LinkedIn. Is the employer well known? Do you have any mutual connections? If so, are they people whom you would want to work for/with? These are important aspects to look at when researching a potential employer.

Aside from those helpful websites, it is also imperative to review the company website. Is the site valid, updated, and user friendly? Do you feel welcomed when looking at the site? Click around on all the tabs throughout the site. You should be able to gain a great understanding of who the employer is and what they do by looking through their website. Some employers will share employee testimonies on the career page. This can give you insight on why people like working there!

Researching a potential employer can be quick and simple. It is always a good idea to do your research before heading into a job interview. The more information you know ahead of time, the more prepared you will be. Knowing what to look for in a potential employer and where to look could be the key to your next successful job interview!

By Samantha Winters, Business Major – IUPUC

Can Social Media Get You Fired?

Most people have posted to some sort of social media, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, or some other site.  Thanks to technology, people can upload pictures right after they are taken, update their Facebook status, tweet and add comments to other people’s posts all with the click of a few buttons.  Technology has also made it easier for employers to see what their employees are posting.  This has led to some people losing their jobs due to what they posted on social media.

Here are some examples:

  • In Georgia, Johnny Cook, a bus driver, was fired for sharing a story on his Facebook page about a child who was not allowed to get a school lunch because his lunch account had a 40 cent deficit.  The school requested that Cook take down the post and say that he is sorry or else be fired.  He chose the latter.
  • In Australia, a video was posted of some miners doing “The Harlem Shake.”  After their employer found out, the miners were fired.
  • A woman lost her job after insulting her boss on Facebook.  Her boss was one of her Facebook friends.
  • In 2013, a picture was posted of a Taco Bell employee licking some hard taco shells.  He was fired, along with the employee who took the picture.  Taco Bell stated that the employees were fired for taking the picture and posting it to the Internet, which is against their policies.
  • A high school math teacher from Denver was fired for tweeting about marijuana and posting some risqué photos.
  • A woman from Switzerland was fired from her job just for checking updates on Facebook on the same day she called in sick to work stating “she could not work in front of a computer as she needed to lie in the dark.”
  • A woman was fired from her waitress job after posting insults about the restaurant’s customers on her Facebook page.
  • Celebrities are not safe either.  Gilbert Gottfried was fired by Aflac “less than an hour” after tweeting jokes about the tsunami in Japan.
  • Ex-MLB player Mike Bacsik was fired from a radio show in Texas after tweeting, “Congrats to all the dirty Mexicans in San Antonio” after the Dallas Mavericks lost a playoff game in 2010.

Social media is a good way to keep in touch with family members and friends.  Before you post anything though, you may want to stop and think about who might see it and could there be any negative consequences.  If you are Facebook friends with your boss, definitely do not post derogatory comments about him because more than likely he will see it, and you may be called into his office to discuss it the next day.

Another thing to ask yourself before posting anything is “will this reflect badly on me or my employer?”  If your employer is doing something unethical or illegal, that is one thing, just be prepared for the consequences if you write about it on social media.  But if you are just venting about something that made you angry at work or posting a picture of yourself doing a keg stand, you may want to rethink it and just share it with close friends and family members.

 

By Amanda Smith, Business major – IUPUC

 

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/06/living/buzzfeed-social-media-fired/index.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/26/fired-over-facebook-posts_n_659170.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/employee-fired-from-taco-bell-for-licking-shells/