Tips for evaluating a potential employer

Rumor has it that hiring managers make a judgment on job candidates within the first 10 minutes of meeting them. While that might sound like a short period of time, first impressions in the IT industry mean a lot, as you have probably already discovered. That said, when you're looking for a new job, you should be equally interested in forming a judgment. However, in this case, you should be evaluating the company that you plan to apply for a position with.

Here are some tips for doing just that.

Create a list
Before you even begin your search for a new job, you must first create a list of career goals and employer requirements: What is the upward mobility like? How far are you willing to travel to get to the office? What benefits suit your needs? What cultural indicators best suit your personality?

Armed with a series of criteria, you'll be ready to ask the right questions.

"Don't only take those employers' word for it."

Conduct some research
Now, take that list of requirements and start researching the organizations that you hope to work with. Obviously, you'll want to check out firms' websites, but go a bit deeper and see if they have a YouTube channel featuring employees or a Twitter profile. This will provide you with a good idea of the culture.

However, don't only take those employers' word for it. U.S. News contributor Hannah Morgan suggested looking for what past employees and clients are talking about with respect to businesses with the potential to hire you. Steve Lowisz, CEO of Qualigence International, told Morgan that Glassdoor is particularly useful, given that the commenters on that site have likely been let go.

Ask about professional development
Not only does an eagerness to develop your skill professionally signal to employers that you're a great hire, but this helps you plan your potential future with an organization. Some firms offer reimbursement for training and courses, while others teach their employees new skills in-house. Your preference here is what matters the most.

Check out the office environment
If you're going to work somewhere, you might as well see what the office space looks like and how you'll navigate that area on a daily basis. But more to the point of evaluating whether you'll fit in, CIO magazine recommended paying attention to the expressions of current employees, their desktops, the technologies being used and how staff communicate with each other.

Rate the interview process
As a last attempt to evaluate an employer, you should determine how well you were treated during the interview processes as well as while you were at the office.

"In today's competitive recruiting market, the interview process has become an even more crucial gateway to introducing an organization and its culture to potential talent," said Mariah DeLeon, Glassdoor vice president of people. "Employers who offer candidates a great experience have the recruiting advantage … "

At the end of the day, only you know what's best when it comes to evaluating a company, since your preferences are key. That said, the tips listed above can help you pin down what kind of employers you're dealing with.

Tips for evaluating a potential employer
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