We continually hear about “hiring the right people” for roles. People are an employers’ best asset”. This is definitely true from an employer prospective, but as an employee – how do you know the organisation is the right company for you?

Best practices in recruitment and selection when hiring staff have been around for a long time. No doubt we have all been through that dreaded interview where we have been asked the questions about our long term goals, where we see ourselves within the company, what we hope to achieve, etc. etc.

However, what should you, as an employee be looking for and what questions should you be asking of a potential employer?

Often we can be and are seduced into believing the company has loads to offer and it’s usually not just a good salary package. With unemployment statistics showing there is almost a 0% unemployment rate in the skilled market, companies are doing whatever they can to hire staff.

Today’s workforce is made up of permanent, casual, contract and self employed workers. Not everyone wants to be a permanent employee – probably because the days of having job security have long gone. The days of being able to choose what suits you are now available to us.

Some areas you need to consider include asking yourself and researching – is this an employer of choice, or is it company of mediocrity that touts they are an employer of choice? Questions you need to ask should possibly include:

– What are the company’s development and training processes
– How can they demonstrate to you their workplace culture and environment
– Is their Management style and structure what you want to work with
– Are the hours flexible to suit your family needs and lifestyle
– What are the company’s perceived values and ethics
– Are there other benefits as well as a salary package such as child care, healthcare, gym, share schemes, paid maternity leave, discount cards
– What reputation and prestige does the Brand have – is it a Brand you want to be associated with Do you believe in the company and/or its products
– Can working from home be an option

Are these things going to sway your decision making process? Is your value system similar to that of the company you are looking to work with? How does the company motivate their staff, what are their expectations of you? Are they expecting you to micro manage people or perhaps be micro managed? What are the company’s views on authority and how much authority will you have in your role? How comfortable do you feel with the person you will be reporting to?

Often the interview process involves a number of meetings. The person you will be working for or with, are they someone you would like to work with – how do you feel about them? Sometimes this will mean spending more than the usual one hour interview with that person to get to know them. Then go with “your gut feel” – it is usually right. Christine Watson

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