How to research an employer

research

Knowing the company that you want a job at is essential to understanding your future role and the people you will be working with. In a survey by career builder, over a third of applicants applying for a job admitted that they didn’t research the employer before applying for a position. With the internet at our fingertips there is no excuse for taking the time to get to know about the company you are applying for. Here’s what you need to research and how to get the facts you need to help your application shine.

Research the company mission statement

The company mission statement is a simple statement of one or two sentences intended to sum up the entire companies purpose. This is a simple, easy way to get a feel for the overall company and what the business is trying to achieve. Good examples of famous business mission statements are those such as Google; “Don’t be evil”, reminding the world that the overall purpose of Google is to be a positive business that improves the world. Nike’s is “To bring innovation and inspiration to every athlete” and Noon Elite Recruitment’s is “Amazing jobs for amazing people”. Learning the company’s mission statement is a quick, effective trick to get a feel for the business and this should naturally influence your choice of language and approach for your job application and interview.

Understand the business model

Mission statements are good for a feel of the company culture, however, they are often abstract in regards to how the business generates an income. For example, it would take many guesses to learn that Google provides online advertising from the statement “Don’t be evil”. Therefore, the next research goal is to look at the company’s business model and answer the following questions:

  • What industry are they in?
  • What product or service do they provide?
  • Who do they provide this to?
  • How do they charge and get a return from this service?

If you are going to spend a large proportion of your time at this company its essential to have a thorough understanding of what they actually do and how they stay in business. Researching the answers to these questions can be easily obtained from a few google searches and a browse around the company’s website. Take notes and keep your findings and statistics on hand for your application.

Know all about the industry

To know your employer you should know the industry that they are in. By ‘knowing the industry’ we do not mean simply knowing the name of the industry. It’s important to read around the industry, get to know the big players and industry challenges and current affairs. A great way to quickly do this is to read up on industry journals. These usually provide quality content on a range of industry wide subjects all in a single publication or platform.

Know the competition

When researching your employer its hugely beneficial to research competing employers, not only to know more about the industry, but there is potential for finding additional job vacancies in competing firms and researching the competition will help give you a broader knowledge of the industry as a whole and widen the prospect of gaining employment in your target industry. Competing businesses can easily be found by googling the product or service being sold. For example, if you are researching PR firms in the UK a simple google search of ‘P.R firms’ on google.co.uk should show a generous selection of competing firms.

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