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Evaluating Potential Employers: What to Ask Post-Corona

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Coronavirus has completely re-shaped the relationship between employers and employees in a variety of ways that has rippled across many different industries.

We’ve seen companies take incredible leaps to protect their staff and we’ve seen other respond with a complete lack of empathy.

In a way, this pandemic has forced many businesses to show their true colors, whether they were prepared to or not…

While we are by no means at the ‘end’ of the pandemic, the job market is attempting to stabilize itself within a new framework of normalcy. With this, comes new questions for job seekers who are evaluating potential employers in light of the pandemic.

By now, nearly every business has been affected by COVID-19 in some way. Of course, some industries have been hit harder than others, but the vast majority of companies have been forced to make some sort of adaptation to accommodate social distancing practices. How they’ve responded to this pandemic and its new challenges are perhaps one of the greatest culture signals that job seekers should investigate when considering their options.

How to Evaluate Potential Employers Post-Corona

You want to ensure that any potential employer has fallen onto the right side of history, but how do you know what questions to ask in the post-corona job market?

This guide will highlight three critical areas that every job seeker needs to be aware of when evaluating a new job prospect and a few key questions that they need to ask.

What Was Their Communications Strategy?

This is truly the tip of the iceberg when it comes to evaluating a company’s response to COVID-19, but it’s a good place to start for most job hunters.

In our digital era, it’s fairly easy to track down public communications released by a company and it provides a general sense of their position or degree of response to coronavirus. This is important to understand as it provides a sense of how that company wants to be perceived. A few things to investigate:

Did they share content offering their support to their staff or community?

Did they promote themselves as ‘open for business’?

Did they just stay silent?

emba program classUnderstanding what type of communication strategy a company pursued during the early days of the pandemic provides a glimpse into how the company responds during a time of crisis as well as their core values. A company that valued transparency during the crisis is more likely to value transparency in general. A few quick google searches for the company’s social profiles, media coverage, or press releases that may have been distributed will help provide a stronger outside perspective on the business.

Granted, you should examine their messaging with a critical eye. After all, actions always speak louder than words, but this is a good place to start for a first impression.

How Did They Treat Their Employees During A Crisis?

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen varying degrees of response by companies to their employees. Some have gone above and beyond to protect their teams, while others have clearly put profit before people.

Take the time to dig deeper and figure out how a company managed its team members. These decisions will be one of the biggest indicators you can get of the true nature of that company. Try to find out the following:

Did they make sacrifices for the long-term health of the company and their employees?

Did they sacrifice their employees for short-term gains?

The actions that businesses have taken in response to the pandemic show exactly how they value their employees when times are tough and when times are good too.

The best way to find out about this is to inquire about specific programs that were implemented during this time. Here are a few examples of programs that indicate a healthy workplace:

  • Enhanced Emergency Leave
  • Therapy Sessions
  • Relief Funds
  • Adjusted Operating Hours
  • Remote Work Support
  • Diminished Travel Requirements
  • Hiring Bonuses

How Did They Treat Their Customers?

Inspecting how a company has provided customer service during a crisis is another sharp way to understand that makes them tick.

woman working on laptopWhile some businesses have had to shut their doors entirely, others have had the option to operate under new safety regulations or through creative adaptations to social distancing. It’s not a secret that any business will need to maintain revenue in order to survive, but it should be carefully consider what they were willing to do and at what cost.

Did they attempt to profiteer during a time of crisis?

Did they put in extra effort to deliver essential services?

Why did they remain open or choose to close?

Of course, it should be understood that businesses need to make tough choices if they want to be in a position to fully open their doors when the time comes, but this does not give them a free pass. How a company treats its customers is typically reflective of the company values that would be extended to its staff as well.

It’s understandable to be wary of being too picky when unemployment is at an all time high, but ideally you’ll land a job that you can stay in for a while. It’s best to set yourself up for success, happiness and fulfillment by making sure you’re entering a positive environment and avoiding a toxic one.

You’re not alone. Check out our curated lists of the best workplaces for more guidance on your job search!


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