How to research about a Company before joining?

Everyone is familiar with the strange sensations – excitement and nervousness – that set in before you join a new organization. The feeling is stronger when it is a new firm, and you do not have much information about the company. Doubts also start to creep in whether you have made the right choice, and the anxiety gets stronger as the joining date gets nearer.

Researching about the company you will join helps you calm your nerves to a great extent. It also allows you to better navigate the initial days after joining and make a favorable impression.  

Here are a few suggestions on how you can look up about a company you are going to join:

Learn about the company’s strengths.

A good point to start, when researching about the firm, is to first begin with learning its strengths. Identify the strengths where the firm stands out as being different from its competitors. The basic information on the company can be obtained by studying the material available on its website. Information such as the firm’s mission, vision, management team, etc., tells a lot. Also, familiarize yourself with other relevant information such as company size, years since incorporation, location, employee strength, etc. When you join the firm, you should at least be aware of all the information about the company that is available on the website.

Examine the firm’s financial health.

Most reputed firms post financial information related to the firm on their website. It is generally in the form of audited balance sheets. If the firm is publicly listed, even more information would be available. The balance sheet includes information on annual revenue, profit/loss, future plans, anticipated risks, liabilities, etc. If the firm is a startup, check on the founding team, funding rounds, composition of the board, sales information, etc., from the coverage in the press. From this information, you can infer the financial status of the firm/startup and its future prospects. If you are not in a position to understand balance sheets, you can seek the help of financial analysts, who can help you get the required information from the balance sheet. 

Check reviews on social media.

There are several social media platforms that provide information on ratings of the firms as an employer. The most popular example is Glassdoor. Such sites provide information on how current and former employees rate the firm. The ratings assess companies on various aspects such as work culture, work-life balance, the quality of the managers, compensation, perks offered, etc.

In addition, also look out for news articles on the firm in newspapers and business journals. It will help you know whether the company has found a place in the news for negative reasons. LinkedIn is another reliable platform to look up about a company and the people who work in it. You could also check the company pages on Facebook, Twitter, etc., to form a 360-degree view of the firm. 

Learn about company culture.

Social media platforms are again helpful for learning about a company’s culture. However, the nature of inputs available on social media is often a mix of very contradictory inputs, which could leave you confused. Glassdoor is a good and popular platform for this information. In addition, other firms such as ‘The Muse’ are good platforms for this information, especially for firms based in the US. 

However, the best means for obtaining information on company culture is to reach out to current and former employees of the firm. Check with them which core values drive the firm. What is the the nature of peer-to-peer interactions? Does the work culture in the firm enable a healthy work-life balance? 

Get to know the management team.

Familiarize yourself with the leadership team of the firm. When you look up about a company, also familiarize yourself with the firm’s administrative structure and internal hierarchy. This information is usually available on the firm’s website. You can get detailed information on each individual on the management team from LinkedIn. Furthermore, you can learn about the individual’s past professional experience, education, etc. You can know more about the individual from their posts, articles, or blogs on LinkedIn or other blogging platforms. If you know who your manager will be, getting to know more about them beforehand will give you a feeling of reassurance and confidence. 

Check out the competition.

Finally, it is also a good idea to look up the competition. It gives you an idea of where your firm stands relative to the competition. The same sources of information that you use to research your firm will also contain information on the competitor firms. Having a big picture of the landscape gives a sense of security, besides making you stand out from your peers. 

You are probably wondering how this information will help you. Knowledge is always empowering. It will help calm any pre-joining jitters that you might be experiencing. You will feel prepared to handle any responsibility that comes your way in the new organization.

I want a Job

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