by Jeff Morris, Founder of CareerDFW.
This past week (1/17/12) I attended the Dallas Business Journal's Building a Best Place to Work seminar. Six outstanding CEO's / General Manager's / COO's talked about what made their company a great place to work. Each of these companies have been recognized by the Dallas Business Journal as one of the best places in DFW to work.
The six leaders were: 1) Paul Spiegelman, CEO and Founder,·Beryl Companies, 2) Chris Cook, CEO of Sleep Experts, 3) Ray Hammer, General Manager,·Sheraton Dallas, 4) Curtis Hite, CEO and Chairman of Improving Enterprises, Inc. 5) Kelli Valade, COO, Chili's Grill & Bar,·6) Sheldon Arora, CEO of LiquidAgents Healthcare.·
Some of the comments from the·panelists were:
"60 percent of the people we hire are recommended by someone who works at our company already."·
"We have 5 people interview a new candidate, and I value all of their opinions."
"Culture starts at the top and works it's way down a great·organization."
"Happy employees will lead to happy customers which will lead to a successful company."
In the 90 minutes they talked, between 10 and 15 times the word "FIT" came up. It was a common theme that all of the leaders talked about.·It was very important for an employee to fit into the culture of the company. Each of companies had a culture that one needs to fit into. The words education, experience, and qualifications never came up. Is this surprising? Not for these companies. They are looking for·someone who will fit in with the·current employees. One of the leaders even said, they had let a·top performing salesperson go, because they·did not fit.
Another important point each of the companies do is conduct an employee survey at least once a year. In some cases, even twice a year. It was important for these great companies to listen to their employees.· They were on the front line, in many cases, dealing with the customer.
You have heard that you need to network your way into a company. It is as important that you find out the culture of a company. Will you fit?
So, what do you take from this tip-of-the-week?
1) Get the Book of Lists from the Dallas Business Journal or the Best Places to Work from The Dallas Morning News and target those companies. Their employees think they are a great place to work and you may also.
2) Conduct informational interviews with people who work·for these companies to find out what the culture is like and if you would "fit" in. (What is informational interviewing?...Click here for more info.)
3) Find out if the company performs employee surveys? And do they listen to their employees. (Some may do the survey, but do not try to fix the issues.)
4) Find someone inside these companies to help get your resume to the right person.·
5) Remember...the "FIT" will be an important part of the interview. You cannot prepare for this. You may never know how you fit.· That decision may be made in the first 15 seconds you meet the interviewer, or after several people judge your body language, your words or your appearance.
Average companies will hire you because you have the experience, qualification or education. The great places to work will hire you because you "FIT" into the culture and they care about perpetuating that culture.