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Receiving a job offer is both exciting and incredibly stressful. Knowing a company wants to invest in you over other qualified candidates can be invigorating. But when the time comes to accept or decline, things get a bit more difficult.

It’s usually not over money because the money is what it is. Either they’ll match it, beat it, or not, and that’s settled well before you accept or decline. The stress happens when you’re actually happy with your current job. While buyer’s remorse is just part of being human, there are still a few things finance and accounting professionals like you can do to truly decide whether to accept that job offer or to wait for something better.

Google it

You’ve obviously considered Googling the company, where anyone’s research begins. And you should. Googling the company can show you ratings on social media, review sites like GlassDoor.com, and relevant news articles concerning the brand. It’s a great place to start and will also show you where to investigate next.

Company review sites

Glassdoor is excellent for information on salaries, work/life balance and culture. But be critical. If the company is rated low on GlassDoor.com or similar sites, at least take it with a grain of salt. It’s very common for unhappy employees who have been terminated to leave scathing reviews about the company, so do be skeptical. Is the review leaving constructive feedback about the company, or does it read more personal? GlassDoor reviews do matter, but should only be one component of your vetting strategy.

Social media reviews

Social media reviews are also good but you still must be skeptical. It is not uncommon for companies to encourage their own employees to leave exemplary reviews. Again, you must vet the comments. Are they saying anything of substance? Are criticisms or compliments based on concrete evidence?

Regional business/workplace awards

Then there are the workplace awards. Cincinnati has several of them, most notably the Cincinnati Business Courier’s “Best Places to Work,” or the “Top Places to Work” from the Cincinnati Enquirer. Companies use these to market their culture, but do realize the awards are a business model. Companies must pay fees to enter, so the awarding entities do better the more companies they have applying.

Furthermore, the surveying is done in-house. While the organizations do take measures to keep it objective, the reality is that employees are often told to expect the surveys, and encouraged to be positive. It doesn’t mean final scores are skewed, just that they could be. Are employees really happy, or were they encouraged to be for the sake of winning?

To really get the scoop, just ask

The reality is, the best way to vet a company is by word of mouth. Talk to internal employees. Discuss the rate of turnover during your interview. If company turnover is high, think about why that is, or ask. Company turnover may be more revealing than anything, but it never hurts to network with people there to get real perspective.

There’s no one surefire method to vet a company. The reality is that a proper decision involves a mix of all the aforementioned tactics. Taking an offer and leaving your current role is always a risk, and even if you did your due diligence, buyer’s remorse is often inevitable. But taking the time to make an informed decision can mitigate the stress and leave you confident.

Battling with the decision to leave your job or stay? We work with people like you every day and explored that heavy decision in a brief read here.

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