Finding a Perfect Company Fit
When THAT song comes on the radio, you swoon inside deeply knowing that it was written just for you.
Those familiar jeans slide on like butter and make you feel both at home and looking good.
Your morning coffee is just the way you like it: hot, with cream, and less than a minute old.
All of these things simply fit. They feel perfect for you and you experience them as uniquely yours, without a moment’s hesitation. They are pleasurable, desirable, easy, and familiar.
What if your job felt that way? If there was a company that was a perfect fit for you?
The ephemeral search for the perfect company fit taunts job seekers and tantalizes employers. The ideal match between employee and organization creates a feeling of being meant to be together, and when it happens, the result is typically high performance, happy employees, and mutual success.
The advent of research and instruments such as Great Places to Work and nifty apps like Good.co have championed the characteristics of a perfect employer as well as the importance of knowing what kind of work environment suits you. But does finding company fit mean that I must be exactly like everyone else in my company, conforming to “how we do things here” and sacrificing my individual identity?
For example, maybe I prefer to think alone, but does that mean I can’t work in a company who’s stated values require thinking together (collaboration) at every level? What if flexibility matters deeply to me, but my company requires structure and rules? Maybe I want to feel like an owner, no matter what my role, but my company is run from the top down?
The perfect company fit for workplace and employee is not about being the sameas one another, but rather about being right for each other.
In particular, is this workplace one in which you feel you can both be yourself, and contribute in meaningful ways? Ideally the healthiest place for you brings out your best, but isn’t an organizational carbon copy of your core self. We hear all the time in our practice “they just weren’t the right fit for us,” which oftentimes is a cloaked expression for “they were not like us, so it didn’t work out.”
Having diverse perspectives inside an organization is a known contributing factor to innovation, creativity, and results. If organizations don’t attract a variety of employees to their company, they are at risk for sameness, predictability, and routine.
So when looking for the perfect company fit, job seekers should try:
- Considering how they roll, what they need to thrive, and how much energy they are willing to put into making it work with their company.
- Looking not so much for sameness, but for conditions that fuel your essential self.
- Asking questions about how the company handles diverse views and opinions.
For employers, up the odds for hiring well by:
- Clearly claiming the culture you have so that it is easy to tangibly feel and see.
- Deciding what your norms are for conflict and diverse perspectives so that candidates can see themselves there even if they are not your human twin.
- Recognizing that fit matters to keeping employees engaged and present over time.