Several companies have made headlines recently because of labor disputes or strikes.
- Workers are asking holiday shoppers to boycott Walmart.
- Hostess claims its labor problems cause the company to close.
- New York fast food workers want higher pay.
What does this have to do with your job search?
When applying for jobs, you might think that you do not want to work for a company that allegedly treats its employees poorly or doesn’t pay well. On the other hand, a job is a job – if the company is hiring, you might be willing to work there.
Not every employer-worker conflict makes the news. And not every labor strike includes a picket line that the public can see. So, how does a job seeker know if a company’s employees are having troubles?
Goodwill Easter Seals of Minnesota, which provides a variety of employment services for job seekers, offers the following signs that a company might be part of a labor dispute.
- Temporary or staffing agencies aggressively recruit candidates for positions that already have lots of people looking for those types of jobs.
- Recruiters target groups of people more likely to feel fortunate to get any job, and less likely to ask questions about the company.
- A company is doing a mass hiring for no obvious reason. For example, the employer did not open a new location; it is not expanding their operations, etc.
- The company’s hiring announcements come up at the same every year or every few years, possibly coinciding with the end of labor contracts.
- A union employer is looking for employees outside of their candidate pool.
As a job seeker, you decide which companies you want to work for and why.
If it is important to you to only apply for jobs with companies that have positive relationships with their employees, here are five things to you can do.
- Think about what is important to you. Write down your personal and your work values. This will help you to know which companies match your values.
- Let your networking contacts know what type of company you want to work for. In addition to looking for jobs at specific locations or within certain pay ranges, your network can direct you to employers that fit your goals.
- Pay attention to industry news, blogs and reports from professional associations.
- Talk to current and former employees of companies. Ask them how about the company’s management style and how they treat employees.
- Decide if want to apply for work for a particular company. Your decision might be different if the job is part-time, temporary, contract or permanent. Ask your network and career advisers for help, but you have the final decision on the best choices for yourself, your career and your finances.
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