How to research a prospective employer: Step 3 – use databases

Anthony Haynes writes: Whether you are preparing to apply for a job or simply deciding whether to do so, our experiences of working with candidates suggest that it’s worth investing time in doing your homework. In particular, it’s worth researching the employer so as to develop a 360 degree picture of them. Each day this week we are publishing a practical tip for doing so.

Step 3: Use databases.

In yesterday’s post, we recommended reading company reports.

In addition to reports, there are many other published sources of data. Examples include:

  • Fame — which has an extensive database of UK and Irish companies
  • Kompass — an international database covering millions of businesses
  • Orbis — ditto.

Such databases are typically expensive to access. However, it may be possible to access them via third parties.

For example, the British Library’s Business & IP Centre offers access to an unrivalled collection of information sources. These are summarised here: The centre also provides short, inexpensive, courses on how to access business information. (In my experience, the courses are excellent.)

If you’re a member of the Institute of Directors, you can use their business library and information sources (summarised here) and ask their researchers to conduct desk research on your behalf via their information services. (Again from my experience, the service is excellent.)


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