The idiom “looks good on paper” refers to something that seems to be a good idea when you read about it, but in reality it may hold very limited value. This can also be said of hiring a candidate based solely on their resume.
Sure, resumes hold valuable and important information, but more is required during the search and interview process to truly get to know whether a candidate is the right match for the company.
Today’s market demands a more engaged search approach to find the right fit and help job seekers find the one thing that leads to the highest job satisfaction.
Going Deeper to Find the Highest Job Satisfaction
Matching bullet points on a potential candidate’s resume to the company’s job description is only an initial first step and requires minimal effort from a company or search firm. But today’s market—where companies are competing over a limited pool of qualified candidates—requires a more engaged search approach.
Whether you’re looking for an employee, or looking for an employer the key to the highest job satisfaction requires getting beyond the qualifications on paper. We must work on gaining a truer understanding of the cultural and collaborative fit between the candidate and the employer.
As a former CFO and current strategic partner with executive leadership at various organizations, I have seen that cultural fit is a primary factor in creating the highest job satisfaction and, ultimately, the reason candidates choose to either stay or leave a company.
Effective Strategy to Ensure a Great Cultural Fit
Below are effective ways companies and job seekers can ensure they are finding the right cultural fit.
There have been recent studies that show that more than one-third of workers would pass on a perfect job if corporate culture was not a fit; highlighting that an ideal culture is one that is:
The message is clear, job-seekers: personality and culture match should be at the top of your “must-haves” list for your next place of employment. Here are a few ways to gain insight on a company and their leadership’s culture:
Search the company’s website and look on their “About Page.” Are their core values and/or mission highlighted? If not, it would be good to clarify whether they have them and what their role is in a job interview. Ask yourself:
- Do the company’s values align with what is important to you?
- Does the company provide examples of activities that support their values?
- Does the hiring manager take the time to communicate their values to you?
It can also be helpful to research the company on their social media accounts to ensure they “practice what they preach.”
Do your research on the direct hiring manager and leadership of the company:
- Does their social media presence align with your personality and interests?
- Do the leaders present themselves as aligned with the values of the company?
- Does the leadership promote employees in ways that go beyond job promotions?
Public lists such as Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” and the Star Tribune’s “Top Workplace” are good places to start, as they are based on employee votes around workplace satisfaction.
From a client perspective, it is equally important to evaluate candidates based on personality and cultural fit. This can be done in many ways, but here are a couple of approaches.
Ask the candidate open-ended questions that solicit specific examples, such as:
- Who has had the largest impact on your leadership style and why?
- When did you feel like you truly made an impact on an organization?
- What specifically have you done to enhance a company’s values?
When you look up the candidate online:
- LinkedIn profiles are a great way to gain insight on the candidate’s professional presence. Are they active on LinkedIn? Is their profile complete and up-to-date? etc.
- Look at Facebook or other non-professional public platforms. This will help paint a picture of who the candidate is outside of the office.
- Do a simple Google search which may bring up academic awards, sports achievements, or more. Remember, you’re hiring a whole human person with activities and responsibilities outside of their professional work.
Leverage Versique’s Talent Activation Process
As an experienced search-partner, Versique vets candidates in three areas through our proven Talent Activation Process to ensure they are a great match and can help ensure the highest job satisfaction.
These three areas are:
- Organization: We search for why the company is a great cultural fit, and how the personality of the direct hiring manager blends with the candidate’s.
- Motivation: We get beyond the current position and ensure the career path opportunity lines up with the desires of the candidate.
- Experience: We ensure the experience of the candidate aligns with the requirements of the role.
As a search director who works with many different candidates and clients each day, I find it critical to take the time to deeply understand the personality of the hiring manager and leadership team before we outreach to potential candidates. I make it a priority to actually step inside the company’s offices and walk the floor, talking to a few different employees on different levels, as I believe this is the only way to gain a true understanding of the culture.
Get the Highest Job Satisfaction with Versique
Getting beyond a resume and job description is crucial to ensuring long-term success for job seekers and companies alike. Versique’s proven process and professional industry experience is a differentiator in the market.