What job seekers want to know most about a company before they apply

Looking for clues early on.
Looking for clues early on.
Image: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth
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Whether you’re crafting a post for a new position or reviewing your own employer online in hopes of aiding others in their job searches, it’s useful to know what kinds of information the would-be beneficiaries of your handiwork would find most helpful.

According to a new US survey from Indeed, the online jobs site, these are the five most important topics about a company people say they research prior to submitting a job application:

  1. The stability of the company (47%)
  2. Insights around benefits and perks, flexibility, and salary ranges for relevant roles (45%)
  3. Information about growth opportunities (41%)
  4. Company management (34%)
  5. The company’s mission and vision (31%)

That stability ranks as the chief concern is perhaps not terribly surprising. For many of us, the prospect of leaving the job we have is scary enough without also having to worry about the counterparty risk posed by a future employer. Even people willing to gamble on an unprofitable startup generally hope the company will be around long enough that they don’t have to take up the next job search any sooner than they’d planned.

What will be interesting to see is whether, over time, the desire for information about mission and vision becomes more widespread. Here at Quartz At Work, we’ve already observed a shift in how people make decisions about why and where to work—and have seen some interesting tensions as personal values and a quest for meaning bump up against a system based on shareholder value and the maximization of profits.

And given how big an impact our bosses can have on our lives, it would be interesting to go back to these survey respondents after they landed in new jobs, to see how many of them wished they’d given more priority to researching company management beforehand.