Those seem to be two very hot topics these days! And they are topics that are relevant to Chief Financial Officers and other Finance Leaders.
A few days ago, after reading Fortune’s article, “Is it better to hire for cultural fit over experience,” I posted this in my Linked In CFO Careers group “A strong, compelling, and visible brand takes the question of culture fit completely off the table!” My comment was in response, in part, to these comments from the Fortune article …
“the most qualified candidates often do damage to a firm when they don’t jibe with the firm’s culture.”
“Cultural fit is incredibly important on a candidate’s abilities to use his skills,” says Nancy Rothbard, an associate professor of management at The Wharton School. “You have a positive effect through skills, but culture completely cancels that out.”
Cultural fit can cover a variety of characteristics, but ultimately, Rothbard and others say, the question hiring managers should be looking to answer is, does this candidate’s values align with those of the company ….”
Culture fit is THE most difficult piece of the hiring process. And while most articles speak to a company getting it right, I think it is equally important for candidates to get it right. I doubt any senior executive really wants to make a wrong decision and end up in job search mode almost immediately.
George Bradt quoted Kevin Kelly, CEO of Heidrick & Struggles, in his post about interview questions at Forbes.com …
“40 percent of senior executives leave organizations or are fired or pushed out within 18 months. It’s not because they’re dumb; it’s because a lot of times culturally they may not fit in with the organization or it’s not clearly articulated to them as they joined.” [emphasis mine]
Forty percent … fired or pushed out … within 18 months! I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be calling the shots than the one being fired at by someone else.
Enter branding, which speaks directly to culture fit. In fact, a strong brand attracts the right kind of opportunities while sending those that are a poor fit running in the opposite direction.
I believe that by the time you make it to the “Top 3”, there are really only two remaining questions on the table. Are you a fit for the company’s culture and do they like you. When you are well-branded – and visible – the culture fit question has already been answered … for both the candidate and the company, giving you a huge advantage over the other two candidates.