So you’ve been offered the job of your dreams: The responsibilities couldn’t be a better fit, the salary’s more than you’d hoped for, and your co-workers seem committed, sharp and down-to-earth. But what about your boss? And his boss? And her boss?
It’s not a myth that a company’s leadership can make or break your experience on the job — even all the way up to the CEO, because the way he or she manages the company will have an effect on how you're managed. So before you sign on the dotted line, it's important to suss out if the powers that be are going to be a pro or a con in your new position.
To give job seekers a quick reference guide on what to look for, the World Economic Forum is out with a new video recapping the results of a survey in which employees were asked to anonymously rate their CEOs and provide reasons for their ratings. It turns out CEOs who were well-liked also consistently demonstrated these four traits:
1. Their companies had happy employees. This suggests they nurture a positive company culture, as well as strong opportunities for growth.
2. Their companies were profitable. It seems that financial success also leads to a better work environment.
3. They didn't pay themselves too much. A staggering difference between CEO income and average employee salary can breed resentment and distrust.
4. They were also the company’s founder. CEO/founders tend to be especially passionate and motivated, which helps to inspire the people who work for them.
Okay, great. So how do you actually figure out if your prospective employer embodies these things? Here’s what we recommend:
Go on Glassdoor. In addition to displaying written reviews from past and current employees, the career site also aggregates that feedback to offer an overall company rating, on a scale of 1-5, as well as show the percentage of employees who approve of the CEO and would recommend the company to a friend.
Take the data with a grain of salt, though, since like most open online forums, Glassdoor tends to invite feedback from critics at both extremes—the ecstatic and severely discontented. But, in combination with salary sites, it can also give you an idea of how employees are compensated in relation to the CEO.
Network, network, network. If you haven’t already spoken to a current or past employee as part of your job search, now’s the time to do it. Find someone who hasn’t been involved in your hiring process and ask them to be as candid as they feel comfortable being about the management team.
Peruse the news. Most companies will have received a fair bit of media coverage by the time you hear about them, so take a look at what’s out there — and go beyond what’s promoted on the “Press” section of the company website. While you’re reading, keep an eye out for quotes from and about the CEO as well as any mentions of the company’s finances. (If they aren't public, companies may not reveal when they aren't profitable — but they tend to be very vocal about it when they are.) Sites like TechCrunch will also tell you more about how an organization is funded.
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