Applying for a job can feel like preparing for a date; it’s natural to feel very self-conscious about how you will come across. However, the company also has to impress you, not just vice versa. Fortunately, as you get to know a firm, it’s easy to spot the right signs – if you know what they are.

Whether you’re just reading the job listing or chatting to a hiring manager at interview, watch out for the following indicators that the business is an ethical one that looks after its workers. 

The benefits

A generous salary might be instantly eye-catching – but, even if it doesn’t quite meet your expectations, the rest of the compensation package could easily make up for it. You should heed, say, the employer’s policy on paid time off and the qualifying criteria for particular bonuses.

You should also ask the employer about wellness plans. Maybe the firm offers discounts on gym or swimming memberships or has implemented the Employee Assistance Programme from LifeWorks.

The office culture

In many contexts, “culture” can be a strangely fluffy word, often tricky to define precisely. However, in a commercial context, it largely boils down to whether the workers are happy and genuinely enjoy working both for the company and with each other.

For an insight into those subjects, you can look into whether the employee allows flexible hours, hosts team-building events and regularly reviews its staff, as Mental Floss explains. As you learn more about the company’s mission, ask yourself: does it naturally excite you?

The growth opportunities

The company might expect you to stay with it for the long haul, but this doesn’t mean you want to feel as though you are simply standing still as your workdays unfold. After all, if you can continue to hone your skills while in the job, that will benefit the company itself.

Your employer might even reward you with a promotion for your dedication. Hence, you might want to ask whether the business is willing to facilitate educational opportunities for its staff. 

The company’s history and stability

If the company you’re looking at is on LinkedIn, you could look at pages of individual employees to see how long they’ve stayed with the business. However, that wouldn’t be the only way to glean an insight into whether the firm has remained stable over a respectably long history.

You should also check that any headlines the company attracts are for the right reasons, like new staff or expansions, rather than the likes of layoffs and cutbacks.  

A big-name brand

Admittedly, this is more relevant to certain industries, like luxury fashion or investment banking, than others. However, securing work at a widely respected company can stand you in good stead for job changes you might make later, as Jodi Glickman argues in a Harvard Business Review article.

Glickman, who heads the leadership development business Great on the Job, reflects: “I’m sure having Goldman Sachs on my resume early in my career opened other doors for me later on.”