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7 Red Flags to Keep an Eye on Before Signing the Employment Contract
“The first thing anyone can do, about any issue, is get informed.” – Adora Svitak, American Writer
When companies recruit applicants, it’s only natural that they do a thorough background check on their future employees. So, when that is the case, why shouldn’t you also do that? Why should you not be sure that this is the workplace and company for you? For anyone sitting on the other side of the table, this article is for you! In this blog, we will be going over some of the major things you should have on a checklist before signing an employment contract. Our years of experience as an RPO agency in Canada have taught us exactly what to look for.
In the following list, we talk about things that you want to go through relatively well before signing the next few years away through the employment contract. However, most of these steps or points should and could be covered well before you even have the first interview. As they say, you can never be too prepared, especially when it comes to your career.
#1 Look Through the Company Website
While this may sound like an obvious point, you may be surprised how rarely candidates go through the company websites. Looking through their website gives you an immediate idea of what they do, who they are, and everything in between. It also helps you analyze if the company follows the current trends in the market. You need to make sure you are joining a company that knows what the people want, how to reach them, and ultimately puts value on innovation, customers, and employees.
If you find gaps in what you are looking for, these would be great points to bring up during the interview! Employers will be impressed as they want employees who can think for themselves, recognize the market trends and ultimately help the company get there.
#2 Have a Look at the Company’s Social Media Platforms
Social media – a great boon or bane, especially when it comes to business. Nowadays, there is virtually almost no company that does not have at least some presence on social media platforms. For one, it is a great place to get the attention of the public eye. Doing a deep dive into their social platforms will give you an idea of where their strengths are. It will tell you how they, as a business, navigate this increasingly digitized world we live in.
If they are absent from the online space or have a sparse following across their platforms, this could be a major red flag. This is something you might want to bring up during the interview- the answer to which will help you figure out if you should sign that employment contract.
Before singing away your future with an employment contract, make sure that the company itself has a future.
#3 Look into Their Products and Services
Regardless of your position in the company, it always helps to have a holistic understanding of the company. Do a deep dive into the company’s business model. Have a look at their products and/or services and see if there is an actual demand for them in the market. Now, this may sound like a complex undertaking at first, but once you fully understand the company and what they do, then it does get a little easier.
#4 What Does the Future of the Company Look Like?
Carrying on from the previous point, you need to figure out what the future of the company looks like. Their products and/or services are deeply rooted in their vision for the future, which should be there on the company website. Look into the competition that they face in the sector, do a SWOT analysis, and see where the company shines and where there is doubt. Knowing the future of the company is important when you are signing away your future with an employment contract.
“I try to be well informed. I don’t know how well I do all the time, but I try nonetheless.“ – Henry Rollins, American Singer.
The company's financial history is a good indicator of whether or not you should sign that employment contract.
#5 What Story do the Company Financials Tell?
At the end of the day, there is no point in joining a company that can’t afford to pay you what you deserve. You need to make sure that before you bind yourself to the business with an employment contract, that they can afford to pay you. Look at their turnover, profits, balance sheets and so on. Depending on the country you are in, these things should be rather easy to find online. It sounds like a lot of work, but this is much more preferable than being stuck in a job that doesn’t pay your bills.
#6 Get in Touch with Employees
People will say what they have to do during the job interview if they want the job or the candidate bad enough. That is why it is always important to find out the information from the inside. The best source is employees of the company. Try to find people who work or have worked for this employer in the past. LinkedIn or Glassdoor are great venues to read reviews, get in touch with people and get down to the truth of what it was like to work for a particular company.
“A well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson, 3rd U.S. President
#7 Find out Who Your Future Boss Might Be
This is probably the most important aspect of your checklist. Your future boss or supervisor is someone who you will work with for the duration of your employment contract. They will set the tone and the pace for you in the workspace. So, it’s important to know their professional background. What has their career path been like? Do they have any ringing endorsements? These things are best found out from people who have worked with him or her in the past.
All of this may seem like a lot of work, but the result will be worth it. Ask yourself this: Would you rather put in some extra effort now or be stuck in an employment contract for the foreseeable future, in a job you don’t like?