Insight Blog

Assessing a Hiring Organization

Assessing a Hiring Organization
During the hiring process, it is not only members of a hiring organization who assess candidates. Candidates regularly assess a hiring organization before accepting an offer of employment. 

When a search firm is representing a hiring organization, a search consultant will provide information about the organization to candidates. If candidates are pursuing a career opportunity themselves, there are four key items to consider when assessing a hiring organization: 

1.  The reputation of the organization

The reputation of the organization is important because it should be a place where you would be proud to work. To learn more:

  • Visit the organization’s website to learn how it is described by its communications team, the tone of voice used, and the visual branding.
  • Conduct a general internet search to see if there are any recent positive or negative news items about the organization.
  • Search for rankings on reliable industry lists, such as ENR for top engineering firms or top contractors and U.S. News & World Report for best hospitals or best colleges and universities
  • Try to connect with someone who currently works at the organization—or previously did—to get a sense of their experience there.
  • Look at websites such as Glassdoor and Indeed to see if the organization has reviews posted by current or past employees. While these reviews are based on opinions of individuals, multiple mentions of the same issue or praise for the same practice—especially in recent months or years—can indicate the organization’s character.
2.  The stability of the organization

The stability of the organization is important because a place that will be in existence for years to come is likely to provide greater job security. To learn more:

  • Visit the organization’s website to learn when the organization was established and other details about its history.
  • Visit the Better Business Bureau (BBB) if the organization is a company or charity. The BBB publishes dates of registration and ratings, using an A+ through F letter-grade scale. It also indicates which businesses are eligible for accreditation; in other words, they meet eight BBB Standards for Trust.
  • Conduct a general internet search for news items that indicate the organization has recently received funding from investors, secured a significant new client or account, or received a donation or grant. 
  • Publicly traded corporations are required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to publish earnings reports along with relevant financial statements, which are accessible to the public.
  • Tax-exempt nonprofits are required to submit financial statements to the IRS and disclose this information to the public.
  • Many private colleges and universities have endowments, in the form of donated money or other financial assets, which are an important source of revenue. Public universities often have very small endowments (if any), instead receiving funding from the federal, state, and/or local governments. This information is usually only published when required by state open-record laws; however, some institutions of higher education choose to disclose this information on their websites.
3.  The strategic plan of the organization

The strategic plan of the organization is important because the act of planning often indicates its commitment to growth and improvement, and the plan provides prospective employees with a greater understanding of the organization’s vision and whether it aligns with theirs. To learn more:

  • Visit the organization’s website to look for a statement on its values, vision, and mission/purpose, which usually correlate to its plan. Some community and cultural organizations as well as education and healthcare institutions publish their entire plans on their websites.
  • Conduct a general internet search to see if there are any recent news items about new projects or initiatives.
  • Read trade publications for a listing of recently approved capital construction or development projects as well as strategic new hires.
  • Inquire during the interview process about what the organization has planned. Not only does this demonstrate that you are a serious candidate interested in the role but it can also lead to a memorable conversation with the hiring manager(s).
4.  The opportunity for career development

The opportunity for career development is important if you are interested in professional growth or evolution. Consider these questions:

  • Does the role align with your career goals?
  • Is training provided or will you have the chance to acquire a new credential, license, or skill?
  • Is it a step up from your current title or is there the possibility of a promotion or increased responsibility within the new organization?
  • Is it a better-recognized, or more prominent organization that would be impressive to list on your resume or professional bio?
If you are a potential candidate considering a new career opportunity, please view our active search listing and connect with a Helbling search consultant for more details.