Perhaps one of the most underrated factors in deciding on an employer is whether the company is growing -- and how fast. A company’s growth in employees, revenue, customers, and standing in the business world is a critical indicator of its quality as an employer. Steady growth implies stability for both the company and for your career.
But how do you figure out if a company is growing? Here are some signs to look for:
1. Did they buy a new office recently?
Did the company you’re looking at recently swap to larger offices or open up in a new city or a new country? This is a great sign that things are going well, they’re making money, and they want to tap a new market with new employees. Hop on board while they’re on their new massive hiring wave.
2. Does the office you interview in seem crowded?
On the other hand, a company that hasn’t expanded yet - especially a smaller startup - can show signs of growth just based on how packed their office is. When you interviewed, did you see an office designed to fit 30 with double that amount of employees? Chances are they’ve gone on a hiring spree, have lots of money to spend, and are about to move to a bigger office. Just make sure they haven’t been packed like sardines for too long -- that could indicate they’re just low on cash.
3. Are they offering a lot of in-office perks?
Does the company give its employees tons of cool perks in the office? From a gym, to ping pong tables, to beer kegs for after-work fun, to free catered lunches and dinners, how much cash a company splashes on keeping their employees happy is a good sign of how quickly they’re growing.
4. Do they have support-level employees?
For smaller companies, office managers, human resources, and other support staff are usually a strong sign of growth. It means they’re not being frugal and only hiring highly essential staff for product development and sales. They’re investing in building a stable and sustainable business structure that will get them to their next milestones and beyond.
5. Is their social media & web traffic growing?
If a company is consumer-focused, strong signs of growth come in the form of social media growth and a steady rise in web traffic. You can use tools like Similarweb and Moz Open Site Explorer to look at the company’s web traffic and see how they’re trending in recent days. For social media growth, you can look through their post history to see if they’re getting more likes, shares, and engagement via comments and replies.
6. Are they attending conferences in their industry?
Is the company regularly headlining conferences? Are executives and founders regularly invited to give talks? Chances are this is a sign that the industry respects their position and wants to hear about how they reached a certain degree of success. It’s an endorsement of the company’s growth and a good indicator that you’re looking at a potential winner for your next career move.
7. Are they hiring people whose resumes you look at and respect?
Look at the company’s recent new hires on LinkedIn. Are they people whose resumes make you think that you’d be in great company if you joined them? This shows that the company is investing funds in hiring top talent rather than going for middle-of-the-road candidates. Their willingness to pay more to hire the best shows their confidence in their growth and in talent as the primary driver for that growth.
8. Are they hiring more directors and VPs?
If a company is hiring a lot of high-level positions, that means they’re in a great position to make a big push for new products and innovations. They’re looking to bring on talented but expensive executives from various backgrounds to make their next big leap in growth. Joining at the same time as these executives could spell great news for your career.
9. Is their careers page freshly packed?
Another strong signal to look for when it comes to a company’s growth is their careers page. If there are a lot of fresh job listings - ones made within the last couple of weeks - then the company is on a hiring blitz. Usually, this happens for a very good reason and is a strong indicator of growth. If, on the other hand, the careers page has a lot of stale, old positions and few new ones, chances are that growth has slowed down enough to decrease hiring.
10. Are you suddenly seeing their brand everywhere?
From T-shirts on the city streets to banner ads on your favorite websites and sponsored content with major publishers, companies that are spending money to increase their brand awareness usually want to show that they’re growing by leaps and bounds. If you’ve noticed that the company is all around you and talked about constantly, they’re likely doing quite well for themselves.
11. Does the company have the latest tech?
From multiple monitors on desks to large touchscreens to expensive standing desks, companies that invest in the latest tech and tools are ones you should look out for. They’re likely to help their employees work more productively and understand that growth comes when obstacles to productivity are eliminated. When you go in for an interview, keep an eye on what the office looks like and what people are working on.
12. Does their website look modern?
Growing companies understand the value a modern, clean website designed to drive traffic and convert potential customers will help them grow. If they have a site that makes you want to buy their product, chances are they’re landing customers left and right. If the site is outdated, it may be because this company is behind on the trends of today.
13. Does the company teach their success principles?
Do employees and leaders at the company regularly write advice based on their experience building their business? Do they provide their expertise through courses on sites like Udemy or Skillshare? This is a good sign that they’re confident enough in the success principles that are driving their growth today to espouse them to others who want to become better professionals.
14. Is the office buzzing?
At your interview, while you’re given a tour around the office before going into the conference room, take stock of what you see around the office. Is everyone super quiet and morose, or is the office feeling energetic and productive? If the latter is the case, then it’s likely people are happy with the way things are going, have a positive outlook on the company’s future, and are working hard to get to their next milestones.
15. Is management open and available?
Another sign to look out for as you research a company is how open and available management is to address the concerns of employees. If the notion you get from employees, past and current, is that leadership is always around and ready to answer questions honestly, things are probably going well. If not, there’s a good chance they want to avoid answering awkward questions about the company’s growth and future.
16. Do people get promoted regularly?
Look at LinkedIn profiles of various employees at the company. Do they show a pattern of career growth within the company? Or do you see that people tend to work the same role for years on end and have to leave to get better opportunities? Promotion culture at a company can be a strong sign of growth. It means new employees are hired to replace promoted ones and that the company is investing in retaining and rewarding their talent.
17. Do employees have lives outside work?
If a company’s employees have lives outside their jobs and all indicators point to a healthy business, this is a great sign that the company is growing without the team having to kill themselves to make it happen. It means that the processes the company has set up to enable growth are working and allow their workforce to live stable lives.
18. Are their competitors growing?
While competitor growth may not sound like the best thing for a company, it’s actually a great signal that their industry is growing overall. When the industry is growing, that means the products and services companies in it sell are in high demand, and the company you’re looking at is reaping those benefits in the form of increased customer interest and revenue.
19. Are they hiring entry-level employees?
When a company is actively hiring young, entry-level employees, it shows two signs of growth. First, they’re relevant and attractive to young workers and recent graduates, cycling in fresh blood and fresh ideas to keep their business agile. Second, they’re signaling they need more hands on deck, even if they have to actively train young, new employees.
20. Do they have or use recruiters?
If a company has hired recruiters, whether in-house or external, they’re signaling not just that they’re hiring, but that they’re spending money to hire faster. Hiring recruiters shows that the company has not just the means to hire but also the need to do so as fast as possible to maintain their growth.
Image courtesy of K2 Space.