Do This Before You Accept That Job Offer

In A Christmas Carol, Ebeneezer Scrooge is visited by three spirits who share events from the past, present and near future. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had such insights before accepting your next job offer? Well, in a sense you do, because you have a resume. You can reflect on your professional past and look around at where you are now. Alas, the future is beyond your grasp.

scroogeOr, is it?

With a bit of due diligence, you can safeguard against “new hire remorse,” which is regret over accepting your latest job offer. Simply spend some quality time researching the buzz about a company online.

Now, if you’ve read articles like this before, no doubt they pointed you to resources like Glassdoor, where employees gather to rate their company. If so, cool, as I would recommend the same. However, I wouldn’t make that my only strategy. Here are a few research hacks I’d implement.

Hack #1: Google Suggest

When you type in the search box on Google, Google Suggest takes over by displaying searches that might be similar to the one you’re entering. Said suggestions are based on the search patterns of Google users and relevant searches you’ve made in the past. Depending on your query, Google Suggest can be very helpful in gathering insight about a company. For example, let’s say that I am considering an opportunity over at… wherever. Sure, money is important, but that’s not the only thing that drives me. Do their values align with mine? Check out what Google Suggest tells me.

Search of "ABC Company Supports"

Is this bona fide proof of where a company stands? Absolutely not. However, it’s a gateway to some very interesting searches.

Hack #2: A Year in Review

Did you know that you can limit your Google search to results generated in the past year? Well, any custom range really. To refine your search results to the past year, add your terms, click “Search tools” (as shown by arrow A below), then choose “Past year” (as shown by arrow B).

Company Searches

Here are a few searches I would run…

How does the CEO think? What is their vision for the company?

  • “Netflix CEO says” | “according to Netflix CEO”

Is the company still growing?

  • IBM “expanding in” 

Is the company producing new products? New products might mean additional staff.

  • Microsoft launches” (“new service” | “new product”)
  • “Google is starting”

How is the company really doing? (Assuming it’s a public company.)

  • Oracle’s stock price has”
  • Apple’s “quarterly results”
  • “stronger than expected” | “lower than expected” earnings share omnicom

Is the company a startup? If so, will money be an issue later?

  • intitle:startup intitle:raised | raising (“new capital” | funding)
  • | venture.funding intitle:announces

Hack #3: Twitter Buzz

Did you know that if you search a domain, you can see who has linked to that website inside of a Tweet? In the screenshot below, I’ve searched the domain of a blog, the Recruiters Lounge. In the results are various tweets linking to that blog.

Twitter URL search

Now ask yourself, who is tweeting about the company you have an interest in? What do they have to say about it? What is the good, the bad and the ugly truth?

OK, enough for now. On my way to do other things.

Let me know your thoughts on these strategies in the comments below. I would be much obliged.


3 Responses to “Do This Before You Accept That Job Offer”

  1. Excellent search ideas. Some of these seem so obvious, yet I hadn’t thought to tailor my search in certain ways to get me the information I had wanted, especially in obscure areas that a company may not want to emphasize. Great job on outlining the best ways to get at that information.

  2. If you know how to read them, the ‘Investor Relations’ information that companies put on their sites is also good to read. Don’t get me wrong, this is usually information designed to get you to put your cash into a company, but if you would not invest your money, are they really a great investment of your time and skills? If you think they are a great investment of your money, take a look at why they are so great. Did they recently cut a large part of their workforce? This might be listed as a ‘reorganization effort’, so be sure to look for that. Another thing to worry about is whether they make their profits by ‘low-balling’ their suppliers or they are actually doing their best to market unique products and services. Wal-Mart has a reputation amongst their suppliers of being vicious with respect to pricing. If Coca-Cola raises their price on 2-liter bottles everywhere else, Wal-Mart has them locked in at a lower price to make sure they retail much lower than the competition. Coca-Cola cannot afford to lose a customer as large as Wal-Mart, so they cave. Wal-Mart has also been accused of underpaying its workers and discriminating on the basis of gender.