I have been made an offer at a company. How do I research it to find if its somewhere I would like to work, besides asking them questions? Google search gives little results.
closed as off topic by GrandmasterB, Walter, Yusubov, Dynamic, gnat Dec 21 '12 at 18:34
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As mentioned in another answer, LinkedIn is a great resource, as is Google. In the past I have done more than just see who works there. These things may be helpful to you.
Remember, none of these things may be indicative of anything, but it does help you to form an opinion upfront. I have once decided not to work on a company based on the fact that I could find heaps of people that worked there less than a year.
I was recently on the job market. I got offered an interview through a recruiter. Company name was left out. So I googled pieces of the ad and found the company (it was a copy and paste from their website).
This is where employers discuss things about the company. It is almost all negative. So if you see a big company, you need to take it with a grain of salt. Since you will always have disgruntled employees and alot of complaints are silly.
The company that contacted me was a small company and had a ton of complaints. First thing that stood out is that you are required to sign a document that says if you leave for any reason (even if fired) you owe them $10,000 because they trained you on their applications.
really long hours.
lots of people get fired (lots of people owe $10,000). people who got fired say they had their wages garnished and got letters from lawyers forcing them to pay.
Fraud Report Sites This one was interesting. Found vast numbers of complaints from customers about how they are being sued. Apparently they use high pressure sales to sell some event management software. They sell to small businesses and non-profits. People got locked into expensive multi-year contracts that they did not understand. Also the software did not work the way they thought it did. So they wanted out and the company sued them.
How companies treat their customers is also a sign of how they treat their employees.
The job paid something like $170-180k. It was for a very senior and specialized position that I fit. I passed and I am glad I didn't waste my time.
If you're on LinkedIn, it might be worth searching for existing and former employees of the company.
Glassdoor as others have mentioned, also LinkedIn, although I'm not fond of using LinkedIn because it tends to be a marketing tool so you'll only get the "good side" of the company; the same side they present to you during an interview with lavish conference rooms adorned with awards and newspaper articles and other such BS that can easily be gotten if one has the connections/money. Be sure to take everything with a grain of salt. Usually you'll find two kinds of comments/information, neither of which is helpful:
Typically if there's a lot of comments on glassdoor that say the same thing, it's probably true. For instance there's a few companies near me that hire regularly that have negative comments saying how they have very long hours and discriminate against American workers; this is probably the truth. A random one-off comment slaying everything about the company can be chalked to up disgruntled person, several not so much.
Ad-Hoc Quantitative Heuristic Approach
Systematically collect, sort, and analyze available data. When the sample is large enough, draw a conclusion.
Company Website :: About us
Sometimes you will find different materials with the company staff names on it. Providing you consider only those materials where you are sure it comes from the staff, you may asses how capable the staff in the company are, eventually how capable the company is as a whole just by investigating individual achievements of people they hire(d). Among other achievements can be participation in presentations, contributions to OpenSource SW (for those who are happy with a lack of quality), participation in trainings and other events.
Add these custom experimental data sources on top.
Create categories, for example scales from 1 to 10 and fields to classify the data. Each collected artifact can be one new entry into the matrix table for this company.
Run different filters on the analyzed data (i.e. in MS Excel or MS Access) to quantify how many staff are perhaps educated to your level, have worked in big companies before, have more than N years of experience, and other. When you are finished with these filters, you may see how many records about the company have been filtered out vs. the total you had initially. Convert that to percent. That final number is your estimated level of satisfaction with the company.
Finally, use your experimental technique as an assessment framework for all companies, continuously refine it, and one day make sure you write a paper on this topic, or else I will. :)
Having had (a not so great) experience of starting to work for a company which was hard to google, I would strongly suggest that if company website isn't very helpful, and you can't seem to find much info in any other way (social networks, etc.), just pass the opportunity and move forward to some place less secretive.