In our last blog (“Get the Right Cultural Fit in your Next Job”, March 21, 2013), we talked about a 2005 study by Leadership IQ showing that “46% of newly hired employees will fail within 18 months while only 19% achieve unequivocal success.”
According to the study, poor interpersonal skills are the primary reason these new hires fail. It breaks down like this:
26% cannot accept feedback
23% are unable to understand and manage emotions
17% lack the necessary motivation to excel
15% have the wrong temperament for the job
11% lack necessary technical skills
This is kind of scary to job seekers. From the job seeker point of view, job seekers have almost a 50/50 chance of accepting a job that is wrong for them, a job that will end in termination. No one wants that.
Although the hiring manager has the power to extend an offer, job seekers have a responsibility to themselves to make sure they fit. Consider it self-defense.
Here are five ways job seekers can avoid new hire failure:
- Do your research. What is the company reputation? Financial results? Who do you know who works there? Can you talk to them? What is it like to work there? Learn about products, marketing, and the website.
- Be prepared. Know what you want to share and what you want to learn. Have your questions already prepared. Know how you want to answer the frequently asked questions and practice so your responses are smooth.
- Know who you are and what you have to offer. Take responsibility for making sure the hiring manager knows too so they can test whether you will fit. Try to meet other people on the team to see how well you will mesh with them.
- Ask good questions. How do they set objectives and provide feedback? Probe beyond standard performance appraisal processes to find out more. How does the team operate? Who do they interact with? What defines success? What happened to the last person in the job?
- Evaluate carefully. Listen to your gut a little. Do you feel comfortable? Do you like these people? Can you imagine spending hours upon hours with them? How do they set objectives? How will you be evaluated? How do they communicate? Does the way they communicate with each other match with the way you like to communicate?
Take responsibility to make sure the job you accept is a great fit for your skills, ability, and behavior. Increase the odds that you will be an unequivocal success!