One thing the last 365 days showed us is how much our employers are willing to adjust day-to-day business to prioritize our safety, health and mental wellness. Multiple pandemics – COVID-19 and racial injustice – not only impacted how we live our lives but also found their way into the workplace. It’s been an interesting year that’s left a few of us looking for opportunities elsewhere.
If you’re on the job hunt, we’ve put together a helpful list of considerations and questions to ask to diagnose whether a company is the right place for you.
Response to Racial Injustice
Many U.S. corporations expressed solidarity during the 2020 racial justice movement. They claimed Black lives matter and some made large scale commitments towards fighting inequality within and outside their company walls. As you search for your next employer, look into how they responded to issues of injustice, taking note of who within the company spoke out and what commitments were made.
Asking your future employer how they responded will not only help you decide if the company is the right place for you – but will also help them understand the importance of doing the right thing if they want the best talent.
Proposed question to future employer: What long term changes is the company making to bridge gaps of inequity in the workplace and within the communities you serve?
Response to COVID-19
The pandemic changed the way many corporations care for their employees. When assessing a company’s mission and values, research how they responded to the pandemic and what their journey has been up to date. In many cases, this information can be found in a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility report and/or on their website. You can also make it a point to ask the hiring manager or recruiter what the response and employee sentiment is.
Proposed question to future employer: How prepared was the company to respond to the pandemic? What decisions were made to support staff? Are there plans to return to the office?
Diversity in the workforce is important to a company’s bottomline. According to Great Place to Work, a diverse company can benefit from higher revenue growth, greater readiness to innovate, increased ability to recruit from a diverse talent pool and achieve higher retention. Take time to review the company’s Board of Directors, Executive Team and even the team you are applying for to understand the demographic make up.
You can also see the overall company’s diversity by looking up their Corporate Social Responsibility report.
Proposed question to future employer: Are there diverse representation goals within the company? If so, what are they and how I can be a part of helping to advance these goals?
Read employee reviews
GlassDoor is one of our favorite sites to review what a company looks like through the lens of a current or former employee. Leverage sites like GlassDoor to help give you an inside scoop into a company. Note, do take the commentary with a grain of salt. If something sparks your curiosity, write it down and discuss it with the hiring manager.
Proposed question to future employer: I saw a comment of GlassDoor that sparked my curiosity so I wanted to ask you about it directly: [Insert question]
The Cold “Email”
The world is a very small place, especially for women of color in corporate spaces. Don’t be afraid to check out the company’s LinkedIn to see who you may know or who may be a friend to someone in your network. Reach out and ask them about their experience at said company. Our community is tight knit in corporate America and there are always people ready and willing to give you perspective before moving forward with a new company.
Proposed question to current or former employee: Hi XX, I am exploring opportunities at the company and saw that you have worked there for XX years. Would you be open to sharing your experience with the company? Are there any considerations I should keep in mind?