How do you know if a company is a good employer?
Perhaps you’ve just had your first interview, or maybe you’re waiting to find out if you’ve got the job. Whatever stage you’ve reached in the process, here’s some advice to help you determine if the company is a great employer.
Five common signs of a great employer:
1. You were treated well before, during and after the interview(s)
You can tell a lot about a company during the first interview. So here are some things to bear in mind:
- Was the interviewer on time?
- If the interviewer was late, was there an apology?
- Were you made to feel welcome?
- Did the interviewer offer you a coffee/tea/water?
- Did the company reschedule the interview at the last minute?
- If it was rescheduled, was there an apology for any inconvenience caused?
- How long did it take for the company to get back to you after the interview?
- Did the interviewer clearly explain the responsibilities of the role to you?
- Were you given an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview?
- Was it clear that the interviewer had thoroughly read your CV?
- Has the interviewer clearly indicated how many hours you would be expected to work?
2. The company offers flexitime
To get the best people, a great employee must be flexible.
That’s why many companies offer something known as ‘flexi-time’, which enables people to arrive/leave the office earlier or later in the day, provided they work the hours required. So, if an employer needed you to be at the office for 8.5 hours a day (assuming 7.5 hours of work and a 1-hour lunch break), you might be allowed to work from 8am to 4.30pm, or from 10am to 6.30pm.
This arrangement gives you more control over your working hours to help you achieve a better work-life balance. For instance, if your job required you to commute to central London every week day, perhaps it would be easier to work earlier or later so you can avoid the worst of the commuter rush. It can take longer to commute during the peak of the rush hour because some trains are so packed that it’s impossible to get on them from certain stations!
3. You’re not asked to do things that are beyond your job description
If the interviewer says you might have to do extra tasks that are not mentioned in the job spec, consider this a warning sign. A good employer should only require you to perform the tasks that are stated in your job contract – otherwise you could end being overloaded and working longer hours than required.
Therefore, it’s very important that you check the job specification thoroughly before your first/next interview.
4. You’re asked about the future
A good employer will usually ask you about your future work goals. For example, you might be asked something along the lines of ‘where do you see yourself in five years’ time?’. Why? Because the employer wants to see whether you’ll be a good fit for the organisation in the long term.
Bear in mind that an interviewer should never ask you personal questions such as ‘do you plan to get married?’ or ‘do you plan to have children?’, as these could be interpreted as discriminatory. A good employer will only want to ask you about your work-related goals to get an idea of your motivation/ambition.
For more guidance on the type of interview questions you shouldn’t be asked, this is a useful resource.
5. There’s confusion about your asking salary
If your interviewer talks about your salary expectations, you should be concerned if he/she mentions a lower figure than what you initially asked for (or what was stated in the job specification). If so, this implies two things: that there has been a breakdown in communication in the company, or that the interviewer was hoping to hire you for a lower salary than you’re worth.
Here at BASE, we’re passionate about connecting exceptional candidates with exceptional employers. So, if you’re still interested in applying for other jobs, please register your CV on our Talent Pool database to access all our latest vacancies and opportunities.