How to Find a Stable Company to Work For [6 Tips]

Man pushing over a stack of blocks; the concept of a domino effect.

We’re living in uncertain financial times. With the economy in flux — the stock market behaving erratically, inflation and interest rates at near 40-year highs — you may think finding a stable company is more important than ever. But really, finding a stable company to work for should always be a priority when job hunting. Look for a company that’ll support you and can provide financial stability — no matter what’s happening with the economy.

Stable companies have staying power and offer employees growth opportunities. Employees at stable companies typically aren’t worried about whether they’ll get paid each month or if they’ll be laid off. No one wants to worry every day about the well-being of the company they work for. You don’t want to worry about your job changing on the fly or your benefits going away because the company doesn’t have the money to pay for them. 

Stable companies give you the comfort of knowing you have a job to go to every day, rather than wondering if today is the day the company is going to file bankruptcy and close its doors. It also provides you the opportunity to grow and develop professionally. 

Anderson Trucking Service (ATS), a family-owned and operated business, has been in operation since 1955. We’ve survived countless twists and turns in the economy and come out relatively unscathed. We know a thing or two about stability — especially in the transportation industry. 

If you’re looking for a job right now, this article will help you spot the signs of a stable company.

6 Signs of a Stable Company 

Here are some surefire signs that the company you’re applying to is stable — along with some questions you can ask during your interview to learn more about the company.

  • Sign #1: Long history
  • Sign #2: Stable leadership team
  • Sign #3: Good financial standing
  • Sign #4: Low turnover, good tenure
  • Sign #5: Growth opportunities
  • Sign #6: Community involvement

Sign #1: Long History

While history doesn’t always predict the future, it’s usually a good determining factor. Look at the history of the company you’re applying to. Have they gone through any economic downturns? Chances are, if they’ve gone through a few of these tough financial cycles relatively unscathed, they’re pretty financially stable and are set up for the long haul. 

Interview Tip: Look on the company’s website before your interview. Most companies have a history or about section. How long have they been around? Ask about their history in your interview.

Sign #2: Stable Leadership Team 

Closely tied to a long-standing company is a stable leadership team. A family-led company can certainly provide a stable base. For instance, ATS is currently operated by second- and third-generation Andersons. However, a leadership team doesn’t have to be family to be stable. It can just as easily be a well-established team that’s remained largely unchanged through the years.

Interview Tip:  Again, go to the company’s website and look at their leadership team. Have the executives held their positions for a long time or at least been involved with the company for a long time? Ask about the leadership team in your interview. Is it constantly switching or is it relatively stable?

Four stern-looking men standing in a line with their arms crossed.

Sign #3: Good Financial Standing 

Determining if a company is in good financial standing is tricky; it isn’t something that’s easily observed. Instead, there are signs you can look for that hint at a good financial standing. 

A privately held company is like a locked door, while a publicly traded company is mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to regularly disclose financial data. Still, it can be hard to determine if a company is either debt-free or not too highly leveraged, and simply asking during an interview might not pan out. The interviewer either might not know the financial status of the company or they’re required to keep it under wraps.

Interview Tip: While you can’t see any company balance sheets, when you’re at the office, take a look around. Does the office look to be well-maintained? Or is it rundown? A well-maintained space with newer equipment is a sign that the company has money to invest in the office space. You can also ask about growth and training opportunities. Companies that are willing and able to invest in their employees provide good signs of financial stability. 

Sign #4: Low Turnover, Good Tenure

Low turnover and long tenure can be good signs of stability in a company. People don’t tend to stay with unstable companies. 

Low turnover shows that people like their positions and they aren’t leaving the company. Similarly, if there are a lot of long-tenured employees with the company, it’s a sign that they’re satisfied with the company and the role. These are also both signs that the company promotes from within and focuses on developing its employees.

Interview Tip: This one is easy. Simply ask for turnover and tenure rates. This should be well-known by talent acquisition specialists and recruiters within the company. Keep in mind that certain positions carry higher turnover industry-wide (like sales), so ask about the company’s overall turnover rate instead.  

Related: How good culture leads to longer tenure

Sign #5: Growth Opportunities

Companies that promote within and take the time to invest in their employees are usually stable. They have the funds and resources to hire the right talent, develop that talent and retain that talent. And, they make it a priority to do so, rather than sticking primarily to outside hires.

A growing company and a stable company are two different things, but you typically want both out of a company. If you’re not growing, you can get passed by your competitors. Eventually, this can lead to instability.

Interview Tip: In your interview, ask whether they hire more internally or externally. It’s a good idea to have both — especially if the company is growing — but if they never hire internally or promote from within, that can be a sign that either tenure is low or they aren’t willing to take the time and resources required to develop their current employees. 

Hands placed together in a circle.

Sign #6: Community Involvement 

This isn’t necessarily a definite indicator of stability, but if a company is heavily involved in the community, it can be a good sign — especially if they’re regularly contributing to long-term initiatives and events. 

A company that’s about to file bankruptcy typically isn’t sending out millions of dollars in donations to organizations in the community. They won’t have the money to do so. 

Interview Tip: Ask about the company’s community involvement. Find out if contributing time and resources is a priority for them. 

Ace Your Interview and Find a Company You Love

Job seekers should always prioritize finding a stable company, especially in today's unpredictable economic climate. Stable companies offer financial security and growth opportunities to their employees, reducing concerns about job security and economic fluctuations.

The signs of a stable company include a long history of weathering economic downturns, a consistent leadership team, good financial standing, low turnover and opportunities for internal growth.

By assessing these indicators during your job search and interviews, you can make a more informed decision about the stability of potential employers. 

In uncertain times, choosing a stable company ensures both financial stability and professional development. Prioritize stability in your job hunt for a more secure and rewarding career.

Asking questions in an interview is crucial. It helps you determine if the role and the company are a good fit for you. Check out these 50 questions you should ask in your next interview

Paul Pfeiffer

Written by Paul Pfeiffer

Paul has spent nearly two decades in the transportation industry with roles in finance, operations, business transformation and risk management for companies with offerings in specialized flatbed, vans, brokerage, less-than-truckload (LTL), bulk, leasing, international and intermodal operations. He joined ATS in 2014 and serves as the chief financial officer.

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