Beyond B-School
If I Work Hereā€¦Dream Job or Worst Nightmare?
with Scott Swigart
with Scott Swigart

Overview/What You Will Learn

In order to envision yourself at the job of your dreams, you need a clear sense of how you might fit in to a company’s culture, whether it’s a healthy business or lagging in the marketplace, and if your desired salary range is realistic. But how can you find out the answers to these and other questions, particularly if the company isn’t well known? Scott Swigart, co-author of Going Beyond Google: Gathering Internet Intelligence, takes you through the online search tools that will help you gather the information you need to steer yourself in the direction of – and land – the job you want.

Key Points

  • There are numerous websites that will help you explore the cultures of different companies, as well as other important aspects such as morale, performance, job postings, salary ranges and inside perspectives about what it’s like to work there.

These include:

  • Glassdoor – a site where employees post reviews and where statistics about employee satisfaction, CEO approval ratings and other information, such as financial results, is aggregated.
    • Glassdoor also shares the pros and cons of working at a company across a variety of job roles and issues, including benefits, promotions, work-life balance, and how in-touch management is with its employees. 
    • Search specific job titles or locations on Glassdoor to glean the pros and cons from the particular perspective you’re interested in.  Compare against competitor companies.
  • Indeed – a job posting aggregator. Indeed houses forums for different companies; that is, online postings where employees share insights into their company culture and atmosphere.  The forums -- as well as job postings for specific titles -- also foster ideas for questions you can ask during your interview and provide information about the company’s expectations for certain positions, skills required, etc.  They provide another means for you to narrow your job search.
  • Google Finance – an excellent tool for more quantitative background material about a company’s financial health and performance.  Find out if a company has been profitable and if its revenue has been growing year over year and how it performs compared to its competitors. You also can access recent news about your target company.
  • Silobar – is more of an industry-specific news website. It’s more business-oriented compared to news sites that primarily aggregate information about consumer goods oriented companies.
  • – brings up websites that share comparable aggregate information. For example, typing in “Glassdoor” in the Similarsites searchbox pulls up other sites (such as Careerbliss) that post employee reviews, company statistics, salary ranges and management approval ratings.  You also can search individual reviews for individual positions and job titles.
  • You will quickly discover, through these online tools, whether or not the company you are researching offers the environment and business opportunity you’re looking for.

Your Next Steps / Tips for Identifying the Right Fit for You

  • Make a list of your companies you may be interested in, potential job titles and even desired locations.
  • Access the many online search tools, such as Glassdoor, Google Finance, Indeed, Silobreaker, Similarsites and Careerbliss and explore as many forums, individual job postings, performance statistics, and news items as you can.  Compare issues and cultures across company lines, job titles and salary ranges.
  • Once you identify certain companies and jobs as those you want to aim for, come up with questions and discussion points for further research and for potential interviews. Have a clear and well-substantiated understanding of why working there would be your dream job.

Scott Swigart informs his competitive intelligence projects with insights gained from a career that began decades ago with coding low-level UNIX hardware diagnostics and continues today with programmatic social media mining and cloud-based projects. Scott is well recognized for his contributions to the competitive intelligence community and regularly speaks at national conferences for marketing research and competitive intelligence associations. He co-chaired the Oregon Chapter of the Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals society (SCIP) and co-wrote Going Beyond Google: Gathering Internet Intelligence, listed as a must-read for 2009–2010 by SCIP. Learn about Cascade Insights at