Saturday, November 13, 2010

Exercising Due Diligence in Job Hunting

Wikipedia says this about Due Diligence -"Due diligence" is a term used for a number of concepts involving either an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract, or an act with a certain standard of care.  BusinessDictionary.Com gave this general definition of the term "Measure of prudence, responsibility, and diligence that is expected from, and ordinarily exercised by, a reasonable and prudent person under the circumstances." Read more:

People or businesses exercise due diligence because they want to know if they are getting the best out of an engagement before they sign a contract. Employment is an engagement that involves signing a contract, hence it is wise to do the same before getting yourself engaged. Besides, your potential bosses are likely to do the same.

What are the things you need to look into before signing an employment contract?

Find out about the company's work culture. Ask yourself if the work environment is something that you would enjoy to be in. Remember, you will spend eight hours or more everyday in that environment. Make sure that it will not turn your working life into a living hell.

Look into how the company support its employees to succeed in their jobs. Some companies provide all the tools and support while others will leave you to sink or swim. Which do you prefer? Decide based on your preference.

Who will be your boss/es? What kinds are they? Find out from people who have worked with them. If they have linkedin accounts, see if they are getting endorsements. Bad bossess normally have little or none from their staff. Remember, I said staff, not their peers or own bosses. Those are different.

How do they value their employees? How employees talk about their company speaks volume of their appreciation of the company's program. Do they have good benefits and compensation package? Does the benefit package add up to the employees' satisfaction or it just stops employees from leaving the company's hellish working condition? Googling the company might get you some social networking information where people talk about the company. Find out what they are saying. However, know that some of these are baseless. You need to be more discerning when you take this route of investigation.

See some Perfect Phrases for Negotiating Salary and Job Offers: Hundreds of Ready-to-Use Phrases to Help You Get the Best Possible Salary, Perks or Promotion (Perfect Phrases Series)

What is the company's growth prospects? Are you joining a company that is small but with great ambitions of growth? Do they have a good plan for getting there? Will they involve you in creating that great future? Is it company with good prospect for expansion? Are you being hired because of that? Is it a company that is winding down? Are you being hired as one of the replacements for many people who are beginning to jump the ship? Is your mission to turn things around? I think these are important information that  people looking for work should find out and consider in their decision making.

Compare your own values with their own. What are your personal tenets that you will never compromise? Look at the core values of the your potential employer. Do they match?

The most important thing that you should be able to do before signing a contract is to compare expectations with your potential boss. Lay down yours, ask for his/hers. You have to establish a common ground before deciding to sign your employment contract. See if there are clear performance standards. This will give you a clear basis for doing your job.

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