Vetting a New Employer: The Signs of a Good [and Bad] Fit

Feb 27, 2023

vetting a new employer

As a sales rep considering a new company, you should be looking at it as a possible long-term career opportunity versus a short-term answer for a job need. 

In an interview process, the company isn’t the only one that can do the vetting. You should be evaluating the potential new employer too! And this applies whether you are a seasoned sales vet or even a new rep. Doing so will help ensure that you land in a sales role at a company that fits your needs as well (even if you don’t know exactly what all of those are yet).

In this guide, to help you determine if the company may be a good fit (or not), we’ve broken down exactly what to look for, both good and bad, when vetting a new employer.

 

Positive Indicators That It Would Probably Be a Good Fit

When it comes to how to choose an employer that you are considering, there are specific positive things to look out for. These items below all point to a company that will have a high chance of being a very good long-term fit for you as a sales rep:

Good Employee Ratings and Reviews on Glassdoor

You would be surprised how many people look at the company’s reviews AFTER they have accepted a job. Make sure to do this before you accept an offer. Taking a look at current and former employees’ reviews of the company on Glassdoor and seeing positive responses is definitely a good sign. These reviews can give you a good insight into the culture and reputation of your potential new employer. Both of these things are extremely important to consider.

You probably wouldn’t make a big purchase without looking at multiple reviews. So, don’t invest years of your work life in a company without making the effort to get an objective opinion. To help you get a complete picture, make sure to check out the ratings, reviews, and/or listings from multiple sites. Two other places to look would include company reviews on Indeed and the Great Place to Work site.

 

A Good Tech Stack

Successful sales teams fully embrace the power of sales technology. In today’s business environment it is almost a necessity. So, a good company will put serious effort into providing their sales team with a robust tech stack to give them everything they need to maximize sales effectiveness and productivity. 

This will include things like a sales CRM, sales enablement tools, automation capabilities, sales training platforms, etc.

 

Opportunities for Career Growth & Advancement

Ideally, you want to be able to continue to grow in your sales role and move up in the company over time. So, it’s a very good sign if the company offers continued sales training/learning opportunities, sales conference attendance, and room for career advancement. Especially if they prioritize hiring from within the company.

Don’t be afraid to ask what the career path looks like for a high-achieving sales professional. If there are good options once you’ve gotten your feet wet and established yourself, you may have found a great fit.

 

Responses to Key Questions During the Interview Process

It is important to remember, you shouldn’t be the only one answering questions during your interview. This is also your opportunity to ask questions and get more insight into whether the company will actually be a good fit for you.

For example, ask them to expand on the company’s mission and values. Then, think about if these things align with your values. When they do, it will be much easier to go to work every day and put in the effort to be a good sales rep. 

Another good thing to inquire about is what their idea of work-life balance looks like and/or if they value it. Smarter, more successful companies understand how important maintaining a good work-life balance is and make the effort to make that easier to achieve for their employees.   

Finally, what does their training and sales onboarding look like? A good company will put effort into ensuring that they are setting their sales reps up for success from the beginning, as well as helping them improve along the way. 

 

Red Flags That Indicate It May Be a Risky Choice

Alternatively, the things below would be considered red flags to anyone vetting a new employer. Remember, the more problems you can uncover ahead of time, the more you can avoid in the future:

High Turnover

When a company has a high attrition rate and sales reps are not staying long-term, that is an immediate red flag. This could point to things like a tough work environment, a toxic culture, or a lack of sufficient benefits. Plus, it can cost one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary to replace an employee. So, a high turnover will significantly impact how sustainable a company is over the long term.

While it may be difficult to get your hands on exact attrition/turnover numbers when you are vetting a company, there are a couple of other ways to get an idea of what the company’s turnover looks like and why. This can be done through:

  • Recent online reviews from exiting employees.
  • Looking at the average length of tenure for the company on LinkedIn Talent Insights. 
  • Reaching out to current employees at the company. (Another good use for LinkedIn)

 

Product Issues in the Market

The last thing you want is to have trouble meeting sales quotas before you’ve even started trying. If the company’s products are not performing well in the market, then that’s exactly the situation you will face. 

Take some time to look at reviews of your potential new employer’s products or services. This will give you an idea of how well-received they are and will directly correlate to how hard or easy it will be to sell their offerings.

 

Financial Issues

This could mean a couple of things. Firstly, in regards to the compensation on offer for the position. For many people, one red flag for sales roles in today’s business environment is if it is commission-only with no base salary. Straight commission sales jobs can be much more volatile and are high-risk/high-reward situations. Some people are ok with this type of commission/pay structure, but in most cases, you’ll feel much more supported in a role that provides a comfortable base salary plus commission.  

The other “financial issues” to look out for are concerning the company itself. Research the company’s financial performance. It’s never fun to land a job only to be the first one let go if the company’s profits continue to decline since you’re the newest hire. 

So, before you say “yes” to an offer, do some digging. Is the company profitable? Is it the market leader or is it lagging behind? Is the company consistently growing?

In most cases, this type of information can be found on the company’s investor page of its website or through a quick Google search of public information/news reports.

 

Do Your Homework to Ensure the Company is a Good Fit For You

As you can see, it is important to take the time to do some research to sufficiently evaluate if a company is a good fit for you. With the items that we’ve covered above, you’ll be able to look out for both the good and bad signs.

Thoroughly vetting a new employer will help ensure that you land in a sales role that is a rewarding, long-term opportunity you can grow in.

As a sales rep considering a new company, you should be looking at it as a possible long-term career opportunity versus a short-term answer for a job need. 

In an interview process, the company isn’t the only one that can do the vetting. You should be evaluating the potential new employer too! And this applies whether you are a seasoned sales vet or even a new rep. Doing so will help ensure that you land in a sales role at a company that fits your needs as well (even if you don’t know exactly what all of those are yet).

In this guide, to help you determine if the company may be a good fit (or not), we’ve broken down exactly what to look for, both good and bad, when vetting a new employer.

 

Positive Indicators That It Would Probably Be a Good Fit

When it comes to how to choose an employer that you are considering, there are specific positive things to look out for. These items below all point to a company that will have a high chance of being a very good long-term fit for you as a sales rep:

Good Employee Ratings and Reviews on Glassdoor

You would be surprised how many people look at the company’s reviews AFTER they have accepted a job. Make sure to do this before you accept an offer. Taking a look at current and former employees’ reviews of the company on Glassdoor and seeing positive responses is definitely a good sign. These reviews can give you a good insight into the culture and reputation of your potential new employer. Both of these things are extremely important to consider.

You probably wouldn’t make a big purchase without looking at multiple reviews. So, don’t invest years of your work life in a company without making the effort to get an objective opinion. To help you get a complete picture, make sure to check out the ratings, reviews, and/or listings from multiple sites. Two other places to look would include company reviews on Indeed and the Great Place to Work site.

 

A Good Tech Stack

Successful sales teams fully embrace the power of sales technology. In today’s business environment it is almost a necessity. So, a good company will put serious effort into providing their sales team with a robust tech stack to give them everything they need to maximize sales effectiveness and productivity. 

This will include things like a sales CRM, sales enablement tools, automation capabilities, sales training platforms, etc.

 

Opportunities for Career Growth & Advancement

Ideally, you want to be able to continue to grow in your sales role and move up in the company over time. So, it’s a very good sign if the company offers continued sales training/learning opportunities, sales conference attendance, and room for career advancement. Especially if they prioritize hiring from within the company.

Don’t be afraid to ask what the career path looks like for a high-achieving sales professional. If there are good options once you’ve gotten your feet wet and established yourself, you may have found a great fit.

 

Responses to Key Questions During the Interview Process

It is important to remember, you shouldn’t be the only one answering questions during your interview. This is also your opportunity to ask questions and get more insight into whether the company will actually be a good fit for you.

For example, ask them to expand on the company’s mission and values. Then, think about if these things align with your values. When they do, it will be much easier to go to work every day and put in the effort to be a good sales rep. 

Another good thing to inquire about is what their idea of work-life balance looks like and/or if they value it. Smarter, more successful companies understand how important maintaining a good work-life balance is and make the effort to make that easier to achieve for their employees.   

Finally, what does their training and sales onboarding look like? A good company will put effort into ensuring that they are setting their sales reps up for success from the beginning, as well as helping them improve along the way. 

 

Red Flags That Indicate It May Be a Risky Choice

Alternatively, the things below would be considered red flags to anyone vetting a new employer. Remember, the more problems you can uncover ahead of time, the more you can avoid in the future:

High Turnover

When a company has a high attrition rate and sales reps are not staying long-term, that is an immediate red flag. This could point to things like a tough work environment, a toxic culture, or a lack of sufficient benefits. Plus, it can cost one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary to replace an employee. So, a high turnover will significantly impact how sustainable a company is over the long term.

While it may be difficult to get your hands on exact attrition/turnover numbers when you are vetting a company, there are a couple of other ways to get an idea of what the company’s turnover looks like and why. This can be done through:

  • Recent online reviews from exiting employees.
  • Looking at the average length of tenure for the company on LinkedIn Talent Insights. 
  • Reaching out to current employees at the company. (Another good use for LinkedIn)

 

Product Issues in the Market

The last thing you want is to have trouble meeting sales quotas before you’ve even started trying. If the company’s products are not performing well in the market, then that’s exactly the situation you will face. 

Take some time to look at reviews of your potential new employer’s products or services. This will give you an idea of how well-received they are and will directly correlate to how hard or easy it will be to sell their offerings.

 

Financial Issues

This could mean a couple of things. Firstly, in regards to the compensation on offer for the position. For many people, one red flag for sales roles in today’s business environment is if it is commission-only with no base salary. Straight commission sales jobs can be much more volatile and are high-risk/high-reward situations. Some people are ok with this type of commission/pay structure, but in most cases, you’ll feel much more supported in a role that provides a comfortable base salary plus commission.  

The other “financial issues” to look out for are concerning the company itself. Research the company’s financial performance. It’s never fun to land a job only to be the first one let go if the company’s profits continue to decline since you’re the newest hire. 

So, before you say “yes” to an offer, do some digging. Is the company profitable? Is it the market leader or is it lagging behind? Is the company consistently growing?

In most cases, this type of information can be found on the company’s investor page of its website or through a quick Google search of public information/news reports.

 

Do Your Homework to Ensure the Company is a Good Fit For You

As you can see, it is important to take the time to do some research to sufficiently evaluate if a company is a good fit for you. With the items that we’ve covered above, you’ll be able to look out for both the good and bad signs.

Thoroughly vetting a new employer will help ensure that you land in a sales role that is a rewarding, long-term opportunity you can grow in.

Wisol Dev