How to decide your new employer?


After I wrote “Questions for your employer (Hiring Manager)“, many people have asked me various questions like what about salary, career and so on. I will cover some more important questions that you should ask your prospective employee.

NOTE: Don’t ask these questions during your first rounds. Wait till you impress the company. Remember that these questions will always be appreciated. It is your right to interview the company as the company interviews you. It’s a mutual relationship. I suspect people who don’t scrutinize a company prior to joining it. I remember a time when after few rounds in a company I had several meetings with their founders, management and staffs, then I decided not to join them for the time being.

Join good company
(Does your company understands you?)

Try hard to join Good companies

There are only few good companies (where you enjoy work and create great things), try hard to join them. Good companies always want good people. Make a good relationship with them even before joining them. It’s not that tough to win competition with good teammates. “Hiring is the key” – Says Jack Welch of GE. Next section will help you answer, whether to join a company or not. It’s not a perfect formula but worked 80% of the time for me.

  1. What is their mission statement? – This reflects a lot about how the company is organized. Ideally people from the top management to the peon should know the mission statement and work accordingly . Many companies work on different things but everything is done without a proper mission statement. I have seen some small companies with great mission statements, it was so clear that you could sense their direction with just one single sentence. For a bigger company, the name brand name covers up the mission statement. For a bigger company, ask your prospective team about its mission. and then Match it with your profile/choice.
  2. Who manages the company? – Different departments should be managed by different people. If the company is a new startup, assume it to be a little messy but they should have a plan to delegate powers to departments. Ask this, “Who manages your HR policies?”, “How are the appraisals done?”, “Who decides the salary increment?”, “If someone is performing extremely well for the company, then ask the concerned person whether the company treats them same way as they treat other employees or do they have a special provision for them?”. You will be surprised to know that many big companies are struggling with these questions. A good company will always try to answer these questions as clearly as possible.
  3. How do you earn money? Who invests in the company? See if they are open about it. If company is not making good money then don’t expect goodies for yourself. Not earning at present is not a big issue but the outline of business plan can be shared (to an impressive level).

Questions about the company?

  1. Five day week: MY SUGGESTION is NOT TO JOIN any company that works 6 day a week. 6 days a week is almost impossible for hard working people. Sometimes people do work 7 days a week if needed but the company that wants its employees to work more than 5 days a week on a regular basis is certainly not a people focused company. One doesn’t need to work XXX hours to complete a task but they surely need to work YYY fresh hours to make it successful, where YYY < XXX for sure. One day off a week keeps employees fresh. The company that doesn't understand this doesn't deserve good heads, lend them your hands and legs, brains doesn't work for 6 days. I seriously mean it.
  2. How many leaves? Compare it with the industry standards. This is also a big factor that you should consider.
  3. Salary break up and Incentives Ask for a clear break up. Promises made is of no use, get it written in black and white. “You will get so and so when so and so happens”, better get it written.
  4. Increments This needs a clear guidelines. I know many who say, “I will get an increment only if my boss feels so“. This needs to change, one should get one deserves. If companies don’t have such policies they certainly needs to come up with one. Also see if promotions are performance based.

Ideal companies rarely exists, so one needs to get some of the mix and keep working towards a company that respects its people. See some of the stories that speaks about its culture (basically some viewpoints :) )

  • Former Google chef tells about Google.
  • I don’t know whether the claims are true but it says “mail sent by Narayan Murthy to all Infosys staff”

    Naryan murthy on working late

    It’s half past 8 in the office but the lights are still on…
    PCs still running, coffee machines still buzzing…
    And who’s at work? Most of them ??? Take a closer look…

    All or most specimens are ??
    Something male species of the human race…

    Look closer… again all or most of them are bachelors…

    And why are they sitting late? Working hard? No way!!!
    Any guesses???
    Let’s ask one of them…
    Here’s what he says… “What’s there 2 do after going home…Here we get to surf, AC, phone, food, coffee that is why I am working late…Importantly no bossssssss!!!!!!!!!!!”

    This is the scene in most research centers and software companies and other off-shore offices.

    Bachelors “Time-passing” during late hours in the office just bcoz they say they’ve nothing else to do…
    Now what r the consequences…

    “Working” (for the record only) late hours soon becomes part of the institute or company culture.

    With bosses more than eager to provide support to those “working” late in the form of taxi vouchers, food vouchers and of course good feedback, (oh, he’s a hard worker… goes home only to change..!!).
    They aren’t helping things too…

    To hell with bosses who don’t understand the difference between “sitting” late and “working” late!!!

    Very soon, the boss start expecting all employees to put in extra working hours.

    So, My dear Bachelors let me tell you, life changes when u get married and start having a family… office is no longer a priority, family is… and
    That’s when the problem starts… b’coz u start having commitments at home too.

    For your boss, the earlier “hardworking” guy suddenly seems to become a “early leaver” even if u leave an hour after regular time… after doing the same amount of work.

    People leaving on time after doing their tasks for the day are labelled as work-shirkers…

    Girls who thankfully always (its changing nowadays… though) leave on time are labelled as “not up to it”. All the while, the bachelors pat their own backs and carry on “working” not realizing that they r spoiling the work culture at their own place and never realize that they would have to regret at one point of time.

    So what’s the moral of the story??
    * Very clear, LEAVE ON TIME!!!
    * Never put in extra time ” unless really needed ”
    * Don’t stay back unnecessarily and spoil your company work culture which will in turn cause inconvenience to you and your colleagues.

    There are hundred other things to do in the evening..

    Learn music…

    Learn a foreign language…

    Try a sport… TT, cricket………

    Importantly,get a girl friend or boy friend, take him/her around town…

    * And for heaven’s sake, net cafe rates have dropped to an all-time low (plus, no fire-walls) and try cooking for a change.

    Take a tip from the Smirnoff ad: *”Life’s calling, where are you??”*

    IT’S A TYPICAL INDIAN MENTALITY THAT WORKING FOR LONG HOURS MEANS VERY HARD WORKING & 100% COMMITMENT ETC.

    PEOPLE WHO REGULARLY SIT LATE IN THE OFFICE DON’T KNOW TO MANAGE THEIR TIME. SIMPLE !

    Regards,
    NARAYAN MURTHY.

10 thoughts on “How to decide your new employer?

  1. abhirupa

    “Ideal companies rarely exists, so one needs to get some of the mix and keep working towards a company that respects its people”>>>>It is very important to work in a company that respects its people. An organization that does not respect its employees and treat them as dirt can never succeed…..they might achieve monetary gains but can never get good employees.

  2. Prasanta

    Yes I also agree that if you do not have any important work then you should not stay at the office very late. It hampers the work culture. And if there is no overtime pay then why should I stay? It is better to spend the time on some other important work as NARAYAN MURTHY said. We have to manage our time.

  3. AjiNIMC Post author

    I applied it and I end up asking more questions that my interviewer :) . I am glad I wrote this as I knew what all to ask and the sequence. Also I noticed the confidence of people who dealt with me (your best people should perform interviews), how they respect others (a great company without basic level of respect for others needs to be looked from suspicious eyes). I am very lucky that I only have to deal with the top management for the interviews, making my tasks really easy. I am/was very particular about my employer. I always had a special corner for entrepreneurs.

  4. Rajesh

    thanx for sharing u’r experience…. i think this will help me to find new company… which i’m searching desperately

    cause my cheese is tooo moved, it’s high time to go through maze and find new channel

    and i’m republishing this info in my blog

  5. Pingback: RAJESHRANA.COM/BLOG » How to decide new Cheese Channels?

  6. AjiNIMC aka Web Kotler Post author

    Hi Ruchi,

    I did not mention about your mission statement for the company but the mission statement of the company you are about to work for. Most of the bigger companies have well established brand. We join the branded companies for brand and to learn their culture with a confidence that it will be great. Most of the MBA students are going for branded companies only. For smaller companies (startups in general), the challenges are different as they keep reforming their policies, which will affect your stay there. Each policy change is guided by the mission company believes in. I will like to answer it in detail if you can explain your query and concern in a bit more detailed way.

    Regards,
    Aji

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