Being a good engineer or accountant won’t get you far anymore. Having a high G.P.A. or strong SAT score isn’t as important when it comes to hiring. Now, it’s all about how well you fit in their corporate culture. Are you able to get along with the people you would be working with? Can you handle the hours? Are you able to work in a cubicle? Are they offering the right employee benefits? Do you know what would be expected of you? All of these questions factor into how your personality meshes with how a company operates. If your aren’t aligned to their vision and mission, then they will hire someone else. With the advent of people competing for jobs now, companies can be picky and they know that an employee who “fits in” will be more successful and stay longer.
In a recent study with Beyond.com, we found that 43% of HR professionals said that “cultural fit” was the single most important determining factor when making a new hire and only 2% care about G.P.A. The top three attributes that companies are currently looking for are: a positive attitude (84%), communication skills (83%) and an ability to work as a team (74%). When I surveyed managers last year, we found similar results. Having a positive attitude ranked in the top three for qualities managers are looking for when promoting workers. Managers want to promote people that they have affinity for over those who might be more capable.
Companies are also firing when the fit isn’t right, even though it costs them money to rehire for that same position. I’ve spoken about how Zappos pays employees to quit as a way to ensure that every employee fits in their culture. Riot games, similar to Zappos, pays unhappy employees up to $25,000 to quit their jobs, even if they just joined the company. The idea is that employees who aren’t a good fit won’t succeed and it’s bad for their careers to stay and companies won’t get the most out of unhappy employees. I see company culture becoming more important when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. Companies should be heading in this direction because it creates a better environment for all employees to get work done. Job seekers should also strive to work for companies where they are a cultural fit instead of applying for jobs aimlessly.
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