5 Things to Look for in an Employer


If you’re a job candidate, what are you looking for in an employer? Do you want to work for a certain brand in a certain industry? Are you flexible enough to consider jobs that may not fit with your educational or previous experience?

Some people actively seek out smaller businesses, while others only want to work for Fortune 500 companies. No matter your preference, there are certain characteristics you should look for in a potential employer. Here are five of them:

  1. Stability. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the company you accept a job at has to have been around for decades with a record of continual, steady growth. But it certainly helps. A well-established firm means better job security for you. The last thing you want to do is hitch your star to an exciting flash-in-the-pan startup that will go under in 18 months. Nor do you want to sign up with a company that has been around a long time and is clearly dying due to industry advancements. Look for companies that have a good track record or are just getting started in a growth industry where market signs point to longterm growth.
  2. Benefits. This use to mean stock options, 401Ks, and health insurance (which are all still very important, by the way). But if you are a millennial, benefits mean every other Friday off, work-from-home opportunities, free gym memberships, a relaxed dress code, and other lifestyle enhancements. Look for a company that really goes out of its way to keep its employees happy. It may sound small, but one of the companies we featured in a previous post, Melaleuca.com, throws an annual picnic/carnival that employees and their families are absolutely nuts about.
  3. Mission. Some companies have mission statements that look like they were written by a copy intern. Others have grandiose statements that are so over-the-top that its hard to really grasp what they mean. What you want is a company whose mission statement is lived every day by the work the company and its employees do. If a company says they care about the environment, are they really taking steps to improve it? If a company’s values truly align with yours, then its going to be a great job.
  4. Advancement opportunity. If you find the perfect job in the perfect organization, that’s great. But what happens if a few years go by and you are ready for a change, only to realize there is no way to grow? The best employers offer advancements in your career path via promotions, but also lateral movements. If you are an accountant, and you’re content with being one forever, kudos to you. But most of today’s workforce are fluid in their career evolution; so you wnat a company where you can easily move from software developer to corporate trainer to facilities manager if that’s what you want.
  5. Integrity. Face it: There are industry giants out there that make tons of money, compensate their employees really well, and have a stranglehold on their market. But they’re also the devil. Look for companies that will make you proud when you tell your friends, family, and acquaintances that you work there. Look for employers who are fair, honest, and transparent. You can’t put a price on being able to sleep at night.