Job Applicants, Hiring Companies Need to Focus More on How They 'Fit'
Memphis, Tenn. — March 17
Many job seekers may be unknowingly excluding themselves in the tight competition for available jobs by failing to show what they can bring immediately to a position, as well as setting themselves up for a potential "culture shock," according to OI Partners, a global career transition and coaching firm.
In addition, companies now seeking or planning to hire employees may want to more closely examine how job candidates can immediately contribute, and how they fit into the current and anticipated future organizational culture, or business environment, according to Mark Leathers, chairman of OI Partners.
There are two ways that applicants need to show potential employers how well they fit in — and for which companies should be screening, according to OI Partners. These are:
- Fit in with immediate needs: "Businesses today want to know, and should determine, what candidates can bring immediately to a job,” Leathers said. “Can they bring in business now? Can they cut costs? Can they bring aboard skills that the employer is currently lacking, or anticipates needing in the short term?
- Fit in with the employer's business culture: "Applicants are closely focusing on the best ways to present their skills and abilities to potential employers,” Leathers said. “But, they are often ignoring that they also need to demonstrate how well they would fit in with the company's business environment. In this poor economy, where there have been many layoffs, companies may want to hire applicants who can do the work of two people, or who are accustomed to having little administrative support. In addition, employers may want to hire people willing to work long hours."
"Job applicants will not be able to show that they fit into the desired culture of the company unless they know what it is. And, they will not be hired unless they can communicate they fit in with the business environment as well as they can convey their qualifications,” Leathers said.
OI Partners provides these tips to both job candidates and companies on how they can get the best possible fit for jobs:
Job applicants should:
- Conduct research into the potential employer's recent business results, sales and earnings forecasts from the company and financial analysts, its management style and human resources policies.
- Talk with as many people as possible until they can get an accurate assessment of what skills and abilities are most in demand now at the targeted employer, and what its business culture is.
- Communicate how they meet, and exceed, the immediate business needs in all phases of their contact with potential employers: resumes, cover letters, telephone interviews, personal interviews and follow-up communication.
- Be as specific as possible about how their career achievements can help the potential employer right away.
- Demonstrate that they not only have the skills and abilities desired, but also match the company's business culture.
- Determine precisely what they want new hires to be able to work on as soon as they join the organization.
- Develop a short list of the two or three most critical goals and objectives they want new hires to achieve within their first six months on the job.
- Closely and objectively examine what type of business environment they have, and how well new employees will fit in: "Don't hire someone with an authoritarian management style into a laid-back, participatory environment; or someone unable to work without a lot of assistants into a do-it-yourself type of company," Leathers said.