A normal employee typically spends around seven to eight hours at work every day. Add this up and you’ll essentially spend majority of your life going through the daily work grind and counting the hours down till the work day ends. Imagine how hard it would be to spend hours after hours working in an unhappy workplace and doing a job you’re no longer passionate about.
It is extremely important that you avoid finding employment in a company that can make your professional life miserable. While it isn’t easy figuring out which company is good or bad for you, there are certain warning signs that can help you spot a bad company during the hiring process. While not every sign in this article should be a cause for alarm, they can help you think twice about signing your name on the dotted line.
1. Unclear Job Responsibilities, Expectations, and Success Metrics
The hiring manager and your immediate supervisor should be able to discuss with you the job responsibilities, expectations, and success metrics clearly.They should also provide you with a solid idea of how your performance will be gauged and what key areas they expect for you to work on.If you get conflicting instructions and information from them, request for a more detailed discussion to clearly define your deliverables.Taking a job where there are no clear goals for you to focus and work on is always a recipe for disaster waiting to happen.
2. Apparent Distrust from Recruiters and Hiring Managers
Background and reference checks are to be expected during the hiring process.Employers want to make sure the people they hire are who and what they claim to be before officially inducting them into the company.This is especially true if you will be handling sensitive and confidential information as part of your daily tasks.What shouldn’t happen is for recruiters and hiring managers to display apparent distrust when handling the details of your resume and work experience – you shouldn’t feel like your integrity is being questioned.The proper manner of handling background and reference checks should be objective and non-accusatory.Employers and companies that openly distrust potential candidates probably distrust people already working for them.Working in an environment with trust issues is definitely not something you’d want to spend your time with.
3. Gloomy or Unhappy Workplace
Scheduling a visit to your potential workplace is always a good idea as you are likely to find bits and pieces of information that can tell you a lot about the culture of the company.Make a mental note of prevalent employee attitude (sloppiness, gossiping, etc), office interaction (curt, impersonal, etc), and of course the overall work environment.Keep an eye on untidy work desks and common areas as well as unsafe-looking workspaces.It’s also worth noting if the office is littered with angry-looking posters such as “ENGLISH ONLY POLICY!” or “OBSERVE SILENCE” written in bold, capital letters.Lastly, observe how the employees are when working.If they’re looking like they’re about ready to explode or is mercilessly pounding on their PC and laptop keyboards with unveiled anger, you may want to reconsider working there.A gloomy, unhappy, and depressing workplace is the last place you’d want to spend your long hours working.
4. Unfriendly Office Personalities
The people you will be working will account to your success and tenure in the company. Working with a boss that you can respect and respects you back can spell the difference between being happy and being miserable while doing your job. The same goes with your co-workers. Before you decide to take the job, make sure to talk to the recruitment officer or the interviewer about your work style and ethics to find out if it’s compatible to that of the company. If you feel that they are not as open to it as expected, you may want to delay signing the job offer a little. Once you meet your manager or have been introduced to the rest of the people you will be working closely, follow your instincts. If you feel an active dislike to the manager or to the majority of the team, you may want to think about accepting the job offer some more.
5. Communication is Disrespectful and Unprofessional
How the people involved in the hiring process treats you reflects how you will be treated once you are part of the company. If communication between you and the hiring manager is erratic, disrespectful, and unprofessional, chances are that how it’s going to be during your entire stay. The company’s HR should be able to provide you with a clear idea of the hiring process as well as a feedback regarding the status of your application. If you’re having difficulty communicating with HR, is given a run-around, or get interview invitations that get cancelled the last minute without any explanation or worst an apology, you may want to consider applying somewhere else.
6. Negative Company Reputation
If the company’s bad reputation precedes itself, you may want to think twice about working with them. With the internet, it’s easy to find out what the general consensus are regarding the current state of the company. There are online forums you can check to read about what former and current employees have to say about a company. It’s important that you research as extensively as you can as some of the bad things you read may just be smear campaigns. If after thorough investigation you find out that most of the things you read about them are with basis, it may not be worth your while to pursue your application with the company.
7. Getting Hired Without Going Through the Usual Job Search Process
Job Interview, Exams, Background and Reference checks are all part of the usual job application process. While getting hired without going through one or all of them is not always a bad thing, you should be wary about how keen or desperate they are in hiring you right away. A desperate-sounding employer is usually a danger sign so tread carefully.
Hiring managers, recruiters, and even employers often rely on their “instincts” when making a decision on whether to hire potential applicants and there is no reason you shouldn’t rely on yours, too. Trust what your instinct is telling you. If you don’t feel too confident with the job offer or if you have second thoughts accepting the employment, hold off making the decision and do some more research. Fools rush in, they say, and the last thing you want to happen is to dive headlong into something you may end up regretting in the end.