corporate culture

What’s “Fit” Got to Do With It?

Companies today are looking for more than just education, experience, and transferable skills.  With an increasing price tag on turnover, recruiters and hiring managers are looking deeper into the intangibles.  The article below gives good perspective on what “fit” has to do with anything.

How often have you heard something like this when you’ve been rejected for a job: “We found someone who we feel is a closer fit.”

When you know in your heart that you have all the skills, experience and education that the employer seeks, it is only natural to ask: “How can they say that I’m not a right fit?”

You might reprise Tina Turner’s song with modified lyrics: “What’s fit got to do with it?”

Using “fit” can be a fudgy kind of excuse that employers give when they don’t want to risk revealing the real reason someone else beat you out for that prized opportunity. Employers aren’t under any obligation to reveal the reasons that they reject any given candidate. And, they are reticent to do so lest it open them up to unwanted protracted discussion, or even to a lawsuit.

“Fit,” however, often really is the issue. Employers are rightly concerned these days about more than just melding a candidate’s skills and a job’s responsibilities. In a landmark survey, Leadership IQ determined that a shocking 46 percent of newly hired employees will fail within 18 months, and that technical competence was only related to 11 percent of those failures.

Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ, contends that the managers who fared significantly better than their peers in their hiring decisions focused their emphasis on interpersonal and motivational issues. The survey suggests that the key elements of fit that make for long-term employee success include “coachability,” emotional intelligence (or “the ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions, and accurately assess others’ emotions”), motivation, and temperament, which includes one’s attitude and personality.

So what is a job hunter to do?

1. Search for a great fit, not just a great job. While the need for an immediate paycheck can be very real and pressing, remember that signing on now to a job with a poor fit can be very costly for you later on. Each time you apply for a job you’ll likely have to explain all the transitions from one company to the next on your resume. If at all possible, you want to avoid in future job hunts having to explain why the job you take now just didn’t work out. Even if you’re successful in obtaining and taking an ill-fitting job now and becoming one of those 48 percent who fail within the first 18 months, you can create a red flag in your own future.

2. Look for companies that fit your personality and work style. Rather than randomly applying to a large number of jobs at many companies, look beyond job descriptions. Slow down and take the time to learn something about each company to which you want to apply. What do current and former employees say about its corporate culture? Does the company encourage teamwork and camaraderie, or is it every person for him/herself? It is a company that cares about its employees enough to have mentoring programs, and are you open to them? Are managers hard to access, likely to be available when you need them, or are they ever-present micro-managing one’s every movement? Which management style do you need to be successful? Learn about these and other fit issues on sites like Glassdoor.com, Vault.com, etc.

3. Use your interview to demonstrate your fit. You can do this in a couple of different ways if you’re well prepared. First, weave in things that demonstrate your fit into your interview. For example, if you know that a company wants to mold their employees through mentoring, you might talk about how much you appreciated being mentored in some past experience and how it helped you to grow professionally. This can be especially powerful if you can use it in answering a question, “Tell me about an area of your weakness.”

Second, if you haven’t had an opportunity to weave your fit stories into the early part of an interview, use your research when you ask your own questions at the end. You might pose something like: “I thrive in an environment where [fill in the blank with something about yourself that matches with the company’s culture]. If I were to work here, is that what I would likely experience?”

Sometimes fit really is a wimpy excuse used in rejection letters. Yet, if you can demonstrate your fit for a role in addition to showing that you have the right skill set and experience, you increase your chances of hearing: “We think that you would make a great addition to our company, and would like you to start within the next two weeks.”

Happy hunting!

Source: US News, by Arnie Fertig

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Company Culture – The Elwood Staffing Family Difference

DaveJohnMikeMarkElwoodThe Elwood Family Difference

David Elwood established Elwood Staffing as a company that values relationships. What better way to exhibit that than to have your three sons working alongside you to help people and further a father’s dream? Each of them brings a complementary strength and skill to the company to help it succeed. Their respect for each other has allowed them to properly align their goals for the future of Elwood Staffing. When they’re not working together in business, the Elwood men enjoy spending time with each other and encouraging each other in accomplishments outside of the office.

Elwood Staffing is a company based upon integrity. We understand that in order to establish successful relationships with clients and associates, we must establish successful and trusting relationships with our employees. We build trust among employees, clients and associates by collectively sharing the same values and goals. As a company, we work hard to apply the Golden Rule to business by treating everyone – clients, associates and employees – as we would want to be treated. This approach holds us accountable for our actions and identifies Elwood as a company that values people over everything else.

The 6 Parts of Recruiting for Culture

If anyone said that a recruiters job is easy, THEY LIED!  Quiet they contrary, our job can be one of the most trying (and the most rewarding) jobs in the organization.  We are not only tasked to identify the best candidates for the position, based off of a vague and usually outdated job description, but then we have ensure that they “fit” into the already established culture.  We must  determine through a few short emails and phone conversations who they are, what they’ve done and what personality type they are.  The reward for us corporate recruiters, is seeing great people coming to work at a company that we love and admire!

Good luck recruiters and for good measure, here is an article to help you as you recruit for culture.  The 6 Parts of Recruiting for Culture

~Angela Malagon, Corporate Recruiter Elwood Staffing