26 Jan 2013

Questions to ask your future Employer

A roller-coaster ride

I've been working for a decade now and have seriously considered joining a variety of companies... joining some on the way, and politely rejecting a few others. At the very least, its been an enriching experience, and thought it best to write an article that elaborates various 'interesting' scenarios that a person may encounter, when contemplating job-hunting in a developing economy. 

What to ask your Prospective Employer

Over these experiences, I learnt a few things the hard way, and then tried to avoid a few misunderstandings by asking the right questions at the right time. Here are a few of the questions that I'd recommend asking, in the hope that it'll help anyone on the lookout.

The context of these questions are mostly Indian, but if you're smart enough, you should be able to utilize similar ideas / questions for the country of your Prospective Employer:
  1. What is the Company Size?
  2. Is this a new role / team / division?
  3. Generic Questions
    1. Work days: Monday - Friday ?
    2. Work Timings: 9 AM - 6 PM ? Flexi-Hours / Work-From-Home ?
    3. OverTime policy: Compensation towards
      1. Stretch (9+ hours per day)?
      2. Early Start-of-Day?
    4. What would be the reporting structure like?
      1. Who would I report to?
      2. Who would report in, to me?
    5. How much Travel is expected?
    6. Would this profile be as an Employee or on a Retainership basis?
  4. Transition Period
    1. How long is the Probation Period when joining?
    2. How long is the Notice Period?
      1. During Probation
      2. Post confirmation
    3. What are the Relocation benefits?
      1. Financial assistance
      2. Logistical assistance
  5. What is the Leave Policy?
    1. Medical Leave
      1. During Probation Period
      2. After Confirmation
    2. Casual Leave
      1. During Probation Period
      2. After Confirmation
    3. (Any other class of Leaves? Earned Leave etc..) : ?
    4. Is there a concept of Planned / Unplanned leaves?
    5. Is there a concept of Sandwich leaves?
  6. What Employee Benefits do you offer?
    1. What is Company's response to certifications completed during employment?
      1. Process related certifications (for e.g. ITIL etc.)
      2. Domain related certifications (for e.g. Technical certifications etc.)
  7. Growth Prospects:
    1. What is the periodicity of Appraisals?
    2. Country-wide, among all managers, what would be a ball-park percentage of organic growth (promotions)?
    3. What is the periodicity of Performance Reviews (if different from Appraisals)?
      1. Minimum criteria for being considered for Appraisals?
  8. Day-to-day task:
    1. For e.g. Three months from joining, please explain how does my day proceed on a regular day on a work-day Tuesday? 
Most of the items listed are self-explanatory, however, since this is aimed at a prospective new employee, some terminologies would require explanation. Also, at times the reason why a question is important needs explanation. 

In the weeks to come, I would be elaborating all of the points above in detail and updating this article as required.

All the best in making the right decision!

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