Who Is a Prospective Employer? (With Answers to FAQs)

Updated December 15, 2022

When applying for a job or signing an employment contract, it's helpful to understand the terms an employer may use. Companies sometimes apply the term prospective to describe themselves or a candidate in a job posting or during an interview. Understanding the meaning of this term and its business usage provides clarity during a job search or contract signing. In this article, we define a prospective employer and provide answers to common questions about this term.

Who is a prospective employer?

A prospective employer is a company or individual with whom you're seeking employment. You can also call this a potential employer. The organization is typically still a potential employer regardless of if you're filling out the online job application form or about to sign the final contract. It's typical to find this phrase on a job listing, interview posting, or employment contract form.

Why do employers describe themselves using prospective on contracts?

Employers typically use legal wordings or describe themselves as prospective to ensure no ambiguity exists. This also guarantees that the contract remains valid if there are changes to the company name. This practice is common for larger organizations because it supports changes that occur over time. For example, the business may merge with another and change its name. Providing employees with a contract that describes the employer as prospective helps ensure this name change doesn't adversely affect the contract term.

For an employer that drafts an employment contract with the organization's name, the document may not reflect the new name after a merger. Alternatively, describing a potential employer creates flexibility and allows for updates to the contract. Doing this enables employees to sign a new contract when there are changes in structure. If the business changes ownership, it may ask individuals to sign a new contract. This provides transparency and clarity on who signs paychecks at the end of the month.

Who is a prospective employee?

A prospective employee is a person whom a company may recruit to fill a position. It's typical to find this term in interview procedures with multiple levels or company agreements. Other names are prospective candidates or potential employees. Companies sometimes apply this phrase in a job posting when they already have a prospect in mind, but it may be a straightforward way of referring to candidates the recruiter wishes to interview and evaluate for an open position.

Related: What Is a Prospective Client? (With Sales Conversion Tips)

Why do companies use the term prospective company or employer on job listings?

As employers typically write job listings to be inclusive, they use the term prospective company or employer to describe themselves neutrally. Businesses often use this term to ensure they don't include specific pronouns. Writing prospective company or employer prevents any confusion candidates might have about the recruiting organization. Doing this also provides an opportunity for qualified candidates to apply without any misunderstandings.

What are the ways to research a potential employer?

You can determine whether a potential employer's objectives align with yours by researching in the following ways:

Browse the company website

A company's website is typically a base for information, so you can discover facts about the business by browsing it. You can explore its history, mission statement, goals, values, and work culture. It's possible to find links to press releases and news on mergers and acquisitions. Browsing a company's website assists you with gathering ideas and information to use to your advantage during an interview. It may also guide your decision-making process. While researching, look for answers to these questions:

  • What distinguishes a potential employer from other companies?

  • How did the company start, and what milestones has it achieved since its inception?

  • What's the organization's vision for the future, and how can you contribute to this from your potential role?

  • Does the company's vision align with yours?

  • Can you adjust to the company's work culture?

Related: FAQ: What Is an Employer?

Read information on the company's blog

Your potential employer may have a blog available on a search engine or their website navigation. Some companies may have several blogs to meet different audiences' needs. While a business's website communicates its goals to the public, a blog provides more in-depth information on its work culture. Browse the blog to get information, such as business dissections, product launches, and general company news. As the writers of the articles typically have inside information on the organization, this sometimes provides you with insights into what's important to the organization.

Related: What Are Employer Expectations? (With Examples and Tips)

Follow their social media pages

Check a potential employer's website for links to its social media accounts. This information is typically on the home page. Following a company's social media accounts allows you to identify information a potential employer considers important to their audience. You might even determine if the company participates in philanthropic activities from its social media accounts.

For example, search for content or posts that showcase volunteerism efforts. Observe how the company engages with its audience and responds to positive or negative feedback. Employers that provide thoughtful responses to feedback typically portray their concerns for customer satisfaction. Turn on post notifications to receive updates whenever a potential employer uploads a post.

Related: Interview Questions about Social Media (With Sample Answers)

Research company reviews

Reading reviews about a potential employer allows you to understand relevant aspects of the company through the perspectives of actual people. These may be clients, employees, or business partners. This sometimes helps you discover information about the business, such as its company culture, employee benefits, career advancement opportunities, leadership, and salaries. Aim to get the answers to the following questions from your research:

  • How's the company's leadership communication? Is it strong and consistent?

  • Does the company encourage professional advancement and development?

  • Do the employees trust and respect the company's management?

Related: Importance of Review Sites and How to Get More Reviews

Discover the company's competitors

Identifying and understanding a potential employer's market competitors can help you make informed decisions. Answering interview questions on industry trends and recent mergers might be more manageable when you've researched the business's position in the market. Search for information on the company's size, investing information, and leadership figures.

Related: How to Answer "What Do You Know about the Company?"

Why is researching a potential employer helpful?

The following are reasons for researching a potential employer:

  • It helps you discover if the salary suits your expectations. From your research, you can determine if the yearly salary the company advertises is before or after they deduct taxes and discover if the payment package includes benefits, such as paid vacation days, health insurance, and public transportation.

  • It allows you to discover if the position and company suit you. Researching a potential employer and position can help you determine if it satisfies all your requirements and meets your needs. For example, if you're environmentally conscious, you can discover if a potential employer follows regulations regarding pollution.

  • It enables you to draft your resume according to the company's and position's requirements. Research a potential employer's exact requirements for a role. This is useful for drafting a resume and cover letter that includes relevant keywords to increase your competitiveness as a candidate.

  • It informs you of the right contact person for the company. Investigating a potential employer sometimes allows you to identify the hiring manager who receives your application documents and e-mails. This ensures you direct your application to the right person.

How can I impress a potential employer?

You can follow the below best practices to create a good impression on an employer:

  • Submit an impressive application. When drafting your application documents, highlight the strengths and skills that make you a competitive candidate. Also, ensure to provide accurate information and confirm your references.

  • Dress and act appropriately during the interview. If the hiring manager invites you for an interview, treat everyone you meet at the company with respect and dress according to the company's culture. Doing this may create a good impression and allow you to foster a friendly work environment if the company offers you employment.

  • Follow up after the interview. Demonstrate professional manners by following up the interview with a thank you letter. Consider getting the interviewer's e-mail address and connecting with them on professional social media channels after the interview.

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