Background-Check  a Potential Employer

Bob Larson, CPC

Career Report

October 2018 Issue – 224

Background-Check  a Potential Employer

Job seekers aren’t the only ones who should undergo a lengthy background check. According to an article by, it’s important that candidates research a prospective employer too. Anything from pending lawsuits, bankruptcies or layoffs can be enough to raise a red flag.

Doing background research will also help candidates learn more about a company and the position they are seeking to fill, the article pointed out. And it can help you ask the right questions during an interview, which is bound to impress a hiring manager.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to researching a company, the following is some advice offered by on how to conduct your own background check on a potential employer:

Check the finances – Always look at the financial stability of the company. While it may be difficult to find specific information for a private company, it’s important to try. Do online research, search local news articles and talk to former or current employees to make sure your employer is viable. When companies experience important financial events like bankruptcies, there’s a greater chance you’ll be able to find out about them and track results.

Gauge the company culture – Speaking to current or former employees can also help you understand whether you’re a cultural fit with the company before you take the job. If you’re not comfortable with areas of a company’s culture, it could hurt your career. For example, a place that prizes cut-throat tactics to get ahead may be the wrong fit for someone who is looking for a team-oriented environment.

“Find people in your network or close to your network who do work or have worked for [the company] and start a dialogue,” said Jonny Laurent of recruiting firm Sage Employer Solutions, who suggested LinkedIn as a good start. “Unless there is overwhelming evidence that the company is a bad fit, do not sell the company short and still interview, but now you can interview with open eyes.”

Check its problem-solving record – The way a company approaches problems can be a good indicator of whether you’d want to work there and how the company treats its workforce. Before taking a job, find out “what has been the company’s greatest challenge over the past year and how have they approached and solved the problem, said Jayne Mattson, senior vice president of career management company Keystone Associates.

In a weak economy, it can be especially telling to see how a company has dealt with tough times, the article noted. For example, if it’s been able to grow an area of its business – and you’re being hired for a new position – it can be a sign of good leadership.

Track layoffs and career progression – For most people, the biggest fear once they take on a new job is a layoff. And while that task can’t be entirely prevented, it’s good to understand a company’s track record. If the company has had multiple rounds of layoffs, it pays to be more careful when taking on your new role.

Additionally, try to find out who had the job previously, why he or she left and where they went, the article pointed out. Knowing your career options after you’re ready to move jobs can be a good way to gauge fit.

If you have any lingering questions, don’t be afraid to speak up when talking with the recruiter or during an interview with the company. Not only will it help to calm your anxiety, but it’ll show hiring managers that you’ve done your homework and understand the company.

A background search “will help you and the company make sure the role is going to be a good fit for both of you,” Mattson told “Ask questions that will get to the heart of what you are trying to understand, so you will make the right career decision.”

News from BLK

Q4 IS HERE! Hiring is strong! It is a job-seekers market.   We at Berman Larson Kane are continuing to see a steady increase in hiring activity from our clients.  New clients are emerging as they look to increase their talent flow and discover talented passive candidates with exciting opportunities.

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