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Seattle, WA 98116
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Tandem Powered offers a full suite of Professional Resume Writing, Career Development, and HR / Business Consulting services.

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Tandem Powered's blog is dedicated to empowering readers by highlighting best practices in the arena of resume writing, career development, and organizational effectiveness, as well as by providing readers with an insider's view of the corporate hiring process.

Beyond Compensation: Healthier Ways to Evaluate A Potential Employer

Kent Nolen

I got a few e-mails about something I wrote in a recent post:

HR departments best serve the company when employees are happy and heard. These are the kinds of HR departments I work with as a Business Consultant. Well oiled HR departments know that their job is to find the link between employee goals and the goals of the company.

So, when you're interviewing for your next job, ensure that the organization you're interviewing with values – truly values – employees' reasons for joining the company. Organizations that walk the talk will have employee-forward initiatives baked right into recruiting materials and employee literature.

More specifically, A few readers noted that they only really consider compensation when making an employment decision. And then – because they are making compensation-based decisions – they tend to be looking for new jobs frequently.

Those readers asked for guidance concerning what to look for in a company, beyond dollar signs:

Culture. No matter what level you are at, ask to shadow someone for an hour or two, or even half a day. The purpose for this is so that you can get a feel for the culture. It's amazing what you can learn by simply taking it all in for a few hours. Do people engage and actively share information? Do you see signs that ideas and diverging viewpoints are welcome?

Goals. Companies that employ new-school HR practices will be very interested in seeing how your ambitions track to the company's objectives. Ask how your prospective employers develop employees' objectives. If goals are completely determined outside of employees, look elsewhere.

Success. How does your potential employer measure success? If it's just "revenue," "attention," or "clicks," you might have a problem. Look for a company that views success modernly. For instance, couch surfing measures success by "net orchestrated conviviality."

When visiting NYC a few weeks ago, I overheard several guys talking about wanting to break the cycle of making employment decisions based solely on monetary compensation. Our turbulent political climate has really got people looking at work and life in a more empowered way. That's a positive outcome in these contentious times.