Applying to a company's culture - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Applying to a company's culture

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Applying for a job with any company is challenging.

Experience and qualifications are certainly important to the interview process. But, some employers are looking for more. Employers want a candidate who not only fits the job description but someone who meshes with the company's culture. 

"We try to create an environment and a culture where openness and collaboration and innovation are actually rewarded and valued," says Daxko CEO David Gray.

Gray describes his company's culture and how it's staffed.

He says, "I'm a big believer in you hire for cultural fit first. And what I mean by that is, is this somebody that's going to demonstrate and live by our core values, work well with their team and understand what we're trying to do on behalf of our customers."

Gray says part of finding someone who fits the company's culture, involves looking for candidates who are willing to adapt and roll with changes.

"If we hire just for a specific skill set, then they are going to be too pigeon holed for an environment like this where we grown a lot and change is a regular occurrence," Gray explains. "You want someone who is much more adaptable than that, and really buys in to what we are trying to accomplish as a company and that is much more important to us."

Many companies are taking that same approach.

Charles Baughman specializes in human resources for ITAC Solutions, a company that matches candidates with companies whose culture is best suited for them.

He says the modern day "career driven" candidate shares a common thread with employers.

"It's almost like matchmaking, and when you find that perfect match, there's hardly anything that is more rewarding," says Baughman. "Employees, especially Generation X and Y want to be part of an organization that has meaning and purpose. They're looking for those opportunities, and that's what's more important to them."

Baughman says HR reps serve as "keepers of the culture", working closely with company leaders, to find people who fit.

But, it's not just a candidate fitting with the company. The culture must also be what the candidate wants.

Baughman says the best way to learn about a company's culture, is to do your homework before and during an interview.

"Ask a lot of questions. Find out what really is a value to those companies. Get a sense of 'where am I going to go apply?' And when I actually speak with someone from that organization, how can I convey to them that my values are their values. Obviously you want to present your best true self. So it needs to be sincere, it needs to be genuine."

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