One of the main ways you learn about whether or not a company is right for you is through research. Typically, you look at their website, check out reviews on Glassdoor, or ask friends what they think about the company. You typically research salary information, take a look at their mission or vision statements, and use their job postings as a gauge when deciding whether or not to apply.
Companies typically have a reputation within the community so this is another great way to determine if you would fit in well there. But what if there was more? What if you could get a more personal look at the inner workings of a company before you applied?
You can. Thanks to today’s global community, which is saturated with technology, reaching out and getting direct feedback is possible. Here are a couple ways you can actively research a company:
Reaching out on social media
Community engagement and customer service are top priorities at most establishments, and many companies have realized social media is a great place to interact. First, follow their accounts and scroll through the feeds to see what they’ve been posting.
Have a question about company culture or customer service? Reach out directly on social media. Post on their Facebook wall, send them a Tweet, or Direct Message them on Instagram. Most companies have someone monitoring social media accounts so you should receive a response. And if you don’t? The non-response itself tells you a little about the company.
Recruiters are basically paid to sell you on a company, but they’re also a wealth of information. If you have any questions, look to see if a company has a recruiter on LinkedIn, and reach out to connect. Once connected, ask away! Recruiters, since they are trying to help a company fill positions, are usually happy to help, especially if they think you might be interested in a job.
Since they know the company well, talking to one might also give you insight into other positions or departments you might be a good fit for that you would not have otherwise considered.
Reaching Out Directly
Don’t be afraid to reach out directly to a company to ask your questions. Reaching out can be as simple as an email to someone in HR letting him or her know you’re interested in the company and have some questions.
You can also pick up the phone and call to see if someone has time to speak with you. Another way to reach out is to see if you are somehow connected to someone in the company on LinkedIn. If one of your connections is also connected to someone in the company you’re interested in, you can ask for an introduction. From there, you can strike up a conversation with that person and see if they are available to meet with you.
This kind of investigative research will provide you with more insight than just looking at the company’s website. You’ll be able to interact with the employer directly, which provides a more realistic viewpoint of the company’s culture.