With past year reflections, new year resolutions, and goals to start, I thought I would begin by defining a list of qualities that I look for in a company. My goal will be to use this as an evaluation tool of potential opportunities. Also, I am going to proactively interview several companies (for research purposes) to start building in a rating strategy. If you would like to participate please email me your answers to the questions below.
“These questions are slanted towards consulting companies, as these types of companies are who I primarily work for. However, I would argue that these questions still have relevance regardless of the company.”
I am breaking it down into 4 main categories: Company Viability, People, Processes, and Tools. Below is an explanation of each:
- Would the company be willing to share its last two years of financial statements? This will give me a little history about the growth of the company over 2 years. There are always caveats, but I will weigh this question based upon the transparency and results of the statements.
- Can the company share it’s business plan? First is there one, that they have documented? I know that this is a lot to ask, but it also shows the vision and direction of the company as a whole.
- What is the current sales pipeline in the company? This will help identify the current and potential clients and customers that the company is working with.
- What is the makeup of the company from a worker perspective? I would like to know the percentage of employees that are hourly vs. salaried. Also the percentage of full-time vs. contingent staffing.
- Can an organizational chart be provided? This is a very helpful tool to understand company structure. Also if the company can’t provide one, it may be a sign of lots of changes.
- What is the average longevity of the current employee base? This will help in understanding how the company does with retention of personnel.
- What are the top 3 qualities that are looked for when hiring employees at the company.
- Describe how the company values its employees? Everyone has a different definition of value. Does it match up with mine?
- What is the one area that the company is looking to improve in regards to people?
- Describe that training strategy for employees of the company.
- Describe how performance is measured at the company. The answer to this question should uncover information such as review cycles, bonus structures, pay for performance, etc. However, the biggest insight that can be given is how one is measured.
- Describe the onboarding process at the company. This will help identify the maturity of the company by exposing the processes that are established and the ones that aren’t.
- Have the explain the company timekeeping processes. I have found this to be very interesting and has caused me to reconsider many times about working for a company.
- Please describe the tools that are provided to an employee. I have turned down jobs because of the lack of investment in this area.
- How often are systems and computers upgraded in terms of hardware?
- What support is provided for the purchasing of productivity tools?
- Describe the work environment for employees. Include the physical space, dress codes, and core work hours.
At the end of the day, I may tweak these questions for each company. I feel that this is a good starting point though. What questions would you contribute to this list?