the company is public, Yahoo can be a great source of
information. Look for the following
price back two years. This is a reflection of
what the company has been through over this time and
is a good reflection of the atmosphere you will be
Obviously, look at the news headlines. Red flags are
obvious, but include: layoffs, litigation, and failed
boards. These need to be taken with a grain of
salt, however can yield a lot of information if read
with a discriminating eye. For example: if you looked
at the Yahoo! posts for Enron, there were actually
posts that were concerned about the off-balance sheet
recommendations. Again these need to be read with
discrimination, but can yield insight into the health
of a prospective company. Usually, this is more a
diagnosis of the health of the business and there
are very few critical insights into the technology.
These are not usually announced, but you can use
the wayback tool on the Alexa toolbar to check fluctuations
in the employee number on the corporate profile page.
website. The company website can be a source of information
maintenance. This may seem trivial, but look for
the maintenance of the website. Is there broken links
of gifs that don't exist. This attention to detail
is important! Is the website consistent with what
you were told in the interview?
Do the programs make sense given the state of technology
development? The red flag here would be a small company
which has an unproven technology that is going after
only huge markets and intends to develop and market
the product themselves.
open. Do the positions open match what they are
looking for? Ask the HR rep what other positions they
are hiring for and double check that with the website.
A lot of companies will advertise positions they have
no intention of hiring people for...
the wayback tool. Use the wayback tool on the
Alexa toolbar to look at the products page and the
other pages of the company website. Look for programs
that simply fade away or drastic changes in direction
of the company. Also, using this tool on the employment
pages will allow you to get a feel for the personnel
sources of information:
Check out the company profile, message boards, and
opinion poll sections for the company you are considering
A good source of information, but it tends to be the
notices from government. Many states have enacted
laws that require notices before mass layoffs in addition
to the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification
(WARN) legislation that was effective February 4,
1989. California has a webpage which lists notices
back several years (http://www.edd.ca.gov/eddwarn.htm).
stock message boards. Several other stock boards
exist which can sometimes yield good information,