Researching the employer

Researching information on your potential employer is a vital part of the process in looking for a new job or career.

Preparation is one of the essential ingredients for success.




Researching the market

Not only will the knowledge you gain help you decide whether you would like to work for a particular organisation, it will also enable you to formulate some informed questions and impress the interviewer.

Using available resources, you can gain a better understanding of what career potential exists with a certain employer, or within a particular industry.

Important background information on an employer includes the types of activities carried out, the jobs that exist, and the financial stability of the company.

If you are researching a certain industry, trade associations and institutes produce membership directories and journals that provide information about trends and issues in the field.

Almost every type of industry has a trade association affiliation or dedicated institute. You can find this information on the internet, or by going to your local library and searching for a book on trade associations.

The key to effective research of employer information lies in your preparation. Once you've identified the industry you want to work, and located potential employers, your next step is to research the specific people that will help you to find out more about the job or get you an interview.

Researching for interviews

Succeeding in an interview depends on many factors, such as previous experience, character, skills and ability. However, one of the most common mistakes people make prior to their interview, and also during the job search itself, is to carry out insufficient research on prospective employers.

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Before meeting your potential employer, you'll need to be aware of the following:
  • What the company does and how it runs, how many employees work for the company?
  • The company's financial state - are they expanding or downsizing?
  • Who are their major competitors?
  • What skills they are looking for, such as education or previous experience?
  • What social media presence do they have?
  • What you can offer them?

Having a general overview about the organisation will also give you confidence during the first interview, so that you can refer to your research when asking questions. The majority of companies use social media, check if they have Facebook, Twitter and a LinkedIn company page and follow them.

Rather than asking how many employees are in the company, which you could have found out yourself, the above question implies you have taken time and effort to prepare for the interview. The interviewer will take this as a sign that you are serious about the company, your job and your future career.

Finding the information

With modern technology such as the internet, there are no excuses for not being able to find out the relevant information on your prospective employer(s). Not only can you drop into your local library, you can also pop into your local cyber cafe to surf the net.

Hays' consultants can provide you with specific job information before you attend interviews. They will also give details of the location of the job, the skills required, experience needed, the size of the firm and the salary.

Ask for company brochures and websites, recent events, charitable activity, LinkedIn company pages, Twitter and Facebook allowing you to find out as much information as possible for your interview.


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