We currently live in a job market where candidates have the power. In fact, at the end of March 2022, there were a record-breaking 5 million more job openings than unemployed individuals in the United States.
IT is no stranger to this type of unprecedented demand, with the industry adding an average of 13,000 positions per month throughout 2021, all while salaries continued to rise.
Of course, not all potential employers are created equal — a big part of the reason why there are currently so many unfilled positions in the first place. Because of this, you don’t necessarily have to rush to take the first offer that you get.
Instead, carefully consider whether that employer will provide a good place to work as an IT professional. A few tell-tale signs that pop up during the interview process can help you determine whether they will be a good fit.
1. Consistency In the Interview and Hiring Process
As it turns out, first impressions really do matter — both for you and your potential employer. In fact, research indicates that we form initial impressions in milliseconds based on how someone looks.
When considering a job offer, the interview process is that first impression. Consider how the interview process went overall (especially if it involved multiple interviews), because this is likely an indicator of how you will be treated if you accepted the job.
If the potential employer was courteous, competent, respectful of your time and tried their best to make a positive impression, it’s only natural that you would feel more confident in accepting the job. Be wary of potential employers who seem unorganized, dismissive or rude, as this likely means the work environment isn’t much better.
2. There Is Legitimate Growth Potential
Most people don’t want to continue working in the same role forever. In IT, technology is constantly changing, requiring that you frequently update your skills. The most successful organizations actively invest in their employees, because they know that keeping employee skills up to date is a win-win for everyone involved.
During the interview process, a great employer should be more than willing to share what growth and learning opportunities will be available to you. Access to online classes, formal training and mentorship are just a few ways that an employer can help you advance your IT career. Of course, a great potential employer will likely also outline internal growth and mobility options as well.
If a company doesn’t prioritize learning and development, chances are good that another potential employer does. According to research by LinkedIn, demand for learning and development specialists increased by 94 percent in July to September 2021 when compared to the prior quarter.
3. A Competitive Offer
IT is a competitive and highly specialized field, and chances are, part of the reason why you are looking for a new job is to increase your earning potential. You should also consider which additional benefits are most important to you, such as paid time off or the ability to work remotely.
Your dream future employer won’t try to hide salary and benefits information from you. They’ll be upfront regarding what they can offer. This way, you can quickly determine whether they are a good fit based on your experience and expectations.
This early transparency is also a good indicator of the overall culture of the company, giving you confidence that you’ll be treated fairly (especially when the time comes to negotiate a raise).
4. A Strong Company Culture
A strong company culture where the employer shares your values is going to create a much more enjoyable day-to-day work experience. In fact, one study found that 56 percent of workers felt that workplace culture was even more important than their salary.
Obviously, researching a company’s reputation in advance can give you some helpful insights into its culture. But the interview process is even more valuable. This gives you a chance to ask the person interviewing you about the company’s goals, values and mission — and to see how well they align with your own.
If you are in the later stages of the interview process and holding an in-person interview, don’t be afraid to ask for a tour of the office or the IT department. You’ll be amazed at what you can learn simply by seeing whether people look happy or stressed, or even how the office is decorated. These little nuances can tell you if the company will be a good cultural fit for you.
5. Clear Understanding of Team Dynamics
Some businesses don’t have a well-defined “fit” for IT professionals — and they may not even have a dedicated IT department. This can lead to some confusion regarding who you report to, what your responsibilities are and even what is expected from you at the company.
Needless to say, this can create an incredibly frustrating work dynamic, where it can be hard to maintain accountability and actually accomplish your goals. This can be especially true if you (or others that you work with) will be working remotely, which can further complicate communications.
As part of the interview process, your future employer should be able to clearly communicate where you will fit into the team as a whole. They don’t necessarily have to provide the specific names of your future coworkers. But a well-outlined structure for where your IT responsibilities fit in will ensure that you are treated like a valued team member, rather than an afterthought.
Find an IT Job You Love
Not all employers are created equal — and when you’re going to be dedicating 40 hours a week to that business, it’s important that you’re working in an environment that truly meets your needs. By focusing on these key attributes during the interview process, you can have confidence that you’ll love your future employer.
This is where prosourceIT can help. Our IT career portal gives talented and driven IT professionals the opportunity to connect with industry-leading organizations. Our staffing services go beyond simply providing a list of job postings, helping you find the right fit for a wide range of IT roles, including data modeling, project management, full stack developers, data analysts and more.
The right job is out there — you don’t have to settle for less.
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