Tag Archives: company

Question of the Month: Does Your Company Have a Workplace Chaplain?

Company cultures vary across the country. Some companies prefer professional dress codes while others embrace shorts and flipflops. One business might offer traditional Christmas bonuses while another chooses to give incremental raises throughout the year.

It’s these differences that make for a diverse and interesting economy, full of different companies, each one well-matched to a particular type of employee personality.

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Four Facts You Should Know About a Company Before You Interview

facts_about_company_webScoring a job interview with a company you’re excited to work for is always a positive thing. But, you still may experience the famous mix of anticipation and dread that goes along with an interview.

Rest assured that nervousness and wariness are normal feelings when faced with an interview, but gaining a little pre-interview knowledge about the company will go far in helping to reduce the nervousness. Here are four facts you should know before walking through the door:

  • What does the company do, how does it do it, and what is its mission statement?
    Because most businesses have a website, look up the company and read about its services, products, business model, press releases, and any other information available. Learn what is most important to the company so you’ll have a good starting point to speak from during the interview.

On the company website, look specifically at the “mission statement” or “about us” page. If the mission statement emphasizes customer service, you’ll know that’s important to the company. These pages also typically give the history and philosophy of the business you’re interviewing with.

  • How is the company doing financially? Most companies have a website, and most websites have something like an “investor relations” tab. Some companies list their quarterly earnings publically and publish an annual report. Even small start ups have information available on websites like Crunchbase.com.

Why is this important? You’ll be able to speak intelligently about the future of the company, based on the facts you’ve read. In addition, you can decide if a company is financially healthy to be able to hire you long-term, offer a competitive salary or benefits, and be around for the next several years.

  • What is the company culture? This might take a little more effort. An easy way to see what the company dress code and culture looks like is to drive by early in the morning or at the end of the work day. Doing so may allow you to see how the employees entering or leaving the building dress. Or, if you know any employees, simply ask them about the code.

Again, websites are great ways to explore the feel of a company. Check to see if the company is active on social media, which may help you discover if they value healthy lifestyles, are involved in the community, or other information that can come in handy when answering tough interview questions.

  • What is the company’s reputation? Local and national news media often report on large corporations, so research news articles about the business. Some businesses may have a marketing page on their website with access to press releases and awards. You can also visit the company’s social media pages and mentions to see what they are saying to followers and what others are saying about them.

The more you know about a company, the better you will feel about answering questions. You will also appear more knowledgeable to potential employers. Knowing these facts about a company is a great way to come up with potential questions for your interviewer and show that you are interested in the job.

Are there other things you should know about a company before you go on the interview? Share your thoughts and tips with us!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

The Results Are In: What Is the Key Factor That Contributes to Your Job Satisfaction?

results_job_satisfaction_webNow that 2015 is well underway, many job seekers are focusing on their goal of finding a job this year. As job search efforts increase, it’s important to recognize and understand the key factors that contribute to job satisfaction so you know that the job you’re trying to get is the right one for you. To help determine the factors that go into job satisfaction, we recently polled Movin’ On Up readers and the results are in!

Keys to Job Satisfaction
The most important factor that contributes to job satisfaction, according to 32% of poll respondents, is “engaging or meaningful work.” “Feeling valued” was a close second with 29% of the votes. “Job security” was the most important factor for 11% of respondents, while “compensation” and “room for advancement” received 10% and 7% of the votes, respectively. Only 4% of people considered “company benefits” to be a key factor in their job satisfaction, along with 2% of those who chose “leadership.”

Additionally, 5% of respondents selected the “Other” option in our poll and left responses including:

  • Efficient communication
  • Pleasant atmosphere
  • Co-workers and managers who are nice to work with
  • Good planning, organization, and control
  • Flexibility
  • Acquiring new skills
  • All of the above

What Leaders Think
Interestingly, it seems there may be a disconnect between a company’s decision makers and those trying to secure a job there. On Refresh Leadership, the Express blog for business leaders, we asked the same question and the results were very different. While 26% of leaders agree with job seekers that “engaging or meaningful work” is the most important factor in job satisfaction, that’s where the similarities end. In fact, while only 2% of Movin’ On Up readers said “leadership” was a key factor, 14% of employers chose this answer. Additionally, 19% of employers chose “compensation,” while only 10% of Movin’ On Up readers agreed, and “company benefits” gained 11% of employer votes, but only 4% of job seeker votes.

Your Job Search
Though there does seem to be a divide between what business leaders and job seekers value most when it comes to job satisfaction, you should keep these results in mind when you’re looking for a job. Were you one of the majority of respondents who selected “engaging or meaningful work” as the key factor to your job satisfaction? If so, try to use this as a determining factor in your job search. For example, if you are interviewing with a company, ask the interviewer what he or she enjoys most about their job. Look for ways that the job can inspire you or help you give back to the community. If you chose “leadership” or “room for advancement,” you can inquire about these elements of the job during an interview by asking questions that show your interest in the position. You may even be able to determine some factors, such as compensation and company benefits, through the job posting. While getting a job is a nice start to the year, ensuring that you’ll be satisfied with your work is even better.

How do you plan to use these results to help with your job search? Let us know in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Easy Tips to Job Search on Facebook

Easy_Tips_to_Search_Jobs_On_FB_March2014According to a recent survey from Jobvite, 83% of people looking for a job use Facebook to search for work. As Forbes writer, Susan Adams, points out in her article 4 Ways to Use Facebook to Find a Job, with 1.23 billion users, job seekers should tap into Facebook’s networking power to help them find work. If you don’t already have a social media presence, you should consider creating an account on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Here are three tips to help you get started.

1. Take Advantage of Facebook’s Graph Search
Networking is an important step in finding a job whether you’re online or off. To start your job search, first you should use the Facebook Graph Search tool. Last year, Facebook implemented Graph Search which they say helps “you find more of the people, places, and things you’re looking for and discover new connections” which can include connections to jobs!

Learn more about Facebook Graph Search

Graph search is a good way to identify networking opportunities and connections you didn’t know you have. For example, if there’s a job at a specific company that you’re interested in, consider searching on Facebook for any friends or acquaintances you have who already work there. Search terms such as “my friends that work at (name of company)” and a list of connections should appear. You can also search for things like “people who work at (name of company)” to see if you have any mutual friends with their employees. If you’re not directly connected to an employee, maybe you know someone who can introduce you.

As you network, don’t just hunt down your friends to ask them to help you get a job at their company. Be considerate of their time, work on building those friendships, and keep networking.

2. Interact Online with the Companies You Apply At
A good way to stay up to date with companies you’re interested in applying at is to Like their company page on Facebook. Many companies post jobs and other relevant information that could be helpful to know. When you “Like” their page, you’ll start seeing more of their information show up on your newsfeed. Keeping up with the companies you’re interested in will allow you to learn more about them. When you have something to say that is relevant, post it on their Facebook wall and begin to professionally interact with them.

While it’s important to stay engaged with your prospective company’s Facebook pages, be careful not to say something out of place or irrelevant. Keep in mind that company Facebook pages are generally not the place to post resumes or follow up on your application.

3. Subscribe to Job Feeds
Did you know some companies like Gap, Inc. and UPS have job feeds on Facebook that allow you to search for jobs? Some of these job feeds can even alert you when a job is open and you can even apply for jobs directly on their page. Some will even match your profile to search for jobs most relevant to you. Check out the app section of the company’s Facebook page to see if they provide job alerts. These job alerts are not available on mobile versions of Facebook so hop on a desktop computer to take a look are job feeds.

As you search for jobs online it’s important to remember that recruiters and potential employers can and will search for you on social media too. As you begin your Facebook job search, remember to put your best foot forward and present a professional image on your social media profiles.

How has Facebook helped your job search? Let us know in the comments section below.

Look! Interview Tips

Look_Interview_Tips_Feb2014
Have you ever wondered what goes through the hiring manager’s mind when you’re in an interview? Wouldn’t it be nice to know what they were thinking, what they want to hear from you, or what they want to see on your resume? We asked a few hiring managers to share their insight on interview musts and they shared these top four interview tips.

Have Professionalism
The employer you’re interviewing with has goals to grow and brand a company. It’s important to understand that how you present yourself in your personal life may not match the image of the organization, so remember to put your best foot forward. Dress appropriately for the job for which you are interviewing. If you’re not sure, it’s a good idea to ask the interviewer about the dress code. Additionally, there is so much more to professionalism than just dressing the part. Integrity and a good work ethic are also very important attributes to possess and can take you a long way in the hiring process. So make sure you can show these attributes to your interviewer and be ready to share good examples of those traits.

Have a Typo-Free Resume
Job seekers often trust their own eyes to proof and edit their resumes. If no one else reviews your resume, there could be typos that you missed. Find a friend who is great at spelling and grammar or someone that you respect professionally to review and critique your resume before your job hunt, and especially before an interview. If the interview process boils down to three people with the same qualifications and your resume is the only one with a typo, you’re making it easy for an interviewer to choose another candidate.

Have Interest in the Job and the Company
Jennifer Anderson, the hiring manager and vice president of Marketing and Communications at Express Employment Professionals, said, “Often I ask a job seeker to describe to me the ideal job and more times than not the answers come back with something completely unrelated to the job they are seeking. For example, someone may interview for a Marketing Coordinator’s position, but when they describe the ideal job, they want to be a stay at home mother and work from a home office.” So it’s important for the interviewee to understand not only the qualifications of the job they are applying for but also what it is they really want to do with their life and career.

Have a Commitment for More than One Year
Longevity is one of the top qualities employers look for in new hires. Most employers will spend the first six to nine months training you to do a job. Not only will they have invested their time and shared their knowledge, the company has been paying you a salary during your training period. Do your best to learn all you can during training and commit to making the most of your job for a couple of years. Anderson encourages people to let the interviewer know that you’re reliable, you’ll give it your best, and you plan on sticking with the company to help it grow.

After job searching for what seemed like forever, editing your resume, and applying at numerous businesses, it’s time to prepare for an interview. What are some interview tips you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments section below.

5 Ways to Find a Company Culture That Fits You

Company CultureLanding a great job is about more than a paycheck, benefits package, or good location.  There’s another aspect of your job that is important enough to make or break your experience – company culture. All the money in the world won’t make up for a job you don’t like at a company where you don’t feel comfortable. You spend too much time at work to be unhappy in it.

Company culture is the unique personality or character of an organization, which can be seen in everything from dress code to workplace behavior to company values. Working at a company with conflicting values can be stressful, unfulfilling, and even discouraging at times. No matter how great the position and salary, if it’s not a culture match, you may be unfulfilled.

Now, even more employers are trying to figure out whether candidates will be a good fit for the company’s environment and with fellow co-workers. According to a study published in the American Sociological Review, determining whether or not potential new hires would enjoy working in the company’s cultural environment can play a greater role in the decision making process or the hiring process than your skills or background.

So, how do you go about uncovering a company’s culture and deciding whether or not it’s a good fit for you? Here are five ways you can find out if a company’s culture is right for you.

Assess Your Most Important Values
Think about the last time you felt like a job was a bad fit for you. What was it in paticular that made a poor fit? Asking yourself questions like this while reviewing your work history will help you get a better sense of what you’re looking for in an employer.

Discovering what is important to you about a company’s culture is a personal process, and you need to find what works best for you.

Keep a realistic expectation when listing your important values. It’s rare to find a work environment that is completely aligned with your values, but you should find employers that have a culture that allows your values to co-exist.

Apply Some Research
A simple action you can take to find out about a company’s culture is to visit their website. Most employers will have mission statements, annual reports, and media sources that can give insight into their beliefs and ethics. Looking into an employer’s social networking profiles can help you see if a company is more casual, expressive, and flexible or more professional, straight forward, and structured.

You can also research independent websites like GlassDoor.com or WetFeet.com where former employees offer honest opinions of companies they’ve worked for.  The more you know before interacting with a potential employer, the better prepared you’ll be to ask the right questions to see if the job would be a good cultural fit.

Ask For Help
You can get a lot of information externally, but to get unique insight into what a company’s culture is really like, consider talking to people on the inside. Current employees and managers can give many details about the average work day and what is expected from the employer. Another bonus of talking to employees is that you’re networking with people who may improve your chances of getting hired if called for an interview.

Also, consider talking to recruiters from within a company or at a staffing agency. They can provide extensive experience from working for a certain employer. It’s their job to ensure job candidates understand what a company is like.

Arrive Early For an Interview
If possible, arrive early for an interview to observe the surroundings. Pay attention to how employees react to their work. Are they bored? Stressed? Excited? Note how managers or co-workers interact with each other, how they dress, or the layout and design of the workspaces.  These kinds of clues can help you determine whether you’d mesh well with the work environment.

Acquire Information During an Interview
Before you’ve even been invited for an interview, you might consider doing an informational interview with the company. An informational interview involves talking with people who are currently working in the field to gain a better understanding of a job. You aren’t interviewing for a job, just meeting to gain experience and information.

While an interviewer may not be an ideal source for insight about negatives in an employer’s culture, asking questions that are specific to your values can help. Questions like, “Do you stress teamwork or independence?;” “What attracts employees to the company and why do they move on?;” or “What will be the greatest expectations and challenges of working for this company?” can help you determine if your values and a potential employer’s culture are a good match.

Not every job is meant for you, even if you are qualified for the position. If it turns out it’s time to go back to the drawing board, there are opportunities out there for you. By doing your research, enlisting the help of a recruiter, and building relationships with others – you may find the job that fits.