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Job Candidates Need to Determine If There is a Fit

Harris AlliedNEW YORK, NY – August 23, 2011 – Talent acquisition and retention is a hot topic these days. Every company is looking for the same thing -- great, talented people. So why is it that when so much time and money is spent on the hiring process that retention seems to take a back seat?

“The short answer is that people join companies but leave managers. Onsite gyms and free lunches don’t replace a manager who isn’t engaged or supportive of his or her people,” explained Kathy Harris managing director at Harris Allied. “Contrary to popular belief, money is not a primary motivator when people leave jobs. They leave because they feel overlooked, underutilized and unappreciated and move for the opportunity of a brighter future where they can develop professionally and make an impact on the firm.”

Harris suggests candidates consider the following to determine whether the opportunity they’re interviewing for offers the right “fit”:

1.     Find out if the role is open due to expansion or replacement. If it’s vacant due to attrition ask what insight the hiring manager can give as to why the person in the role previously didn’t work out. If they offer this kind of information to you, be careful to respond diplomatically. Steer clear of commentary about the employee or whether there was a fit issue.

2.     At an appropriate point in the conversation ask your potential boss to tell you about their background. Listen for experiences that match yours, e.g. did the person come up through the ranks in a hands on role? How long has it been since they worked as an individual contributor? Having a similar background to your boss can help you to communicate effectively when making decisions.

3.     Ask yourself some critical questions about the person you’ll be working for: “What do I hope to learn from this person? Can I see them as a coach or mentor?” It’s often difficult to work for a manager who has little professional value to bring to the relationship.

4.     Ask about the key attributes they’re looking for to be successful in the role and make sure you map to these characteristics. Words like “flexibility,” “thick skinned,” and “able to push back” may mean the boss is difficult to work with. But keep in mind that “difficult” is a subjective term. Challenging bosses have been known to bring out the best in their people if their personality styles mesh well.

5.     Do your homework. Look through the company profile on LinkedIn to see if the company has high turnover. If someone in your network is a current or past employee think about reaching out to them unless your search is confidential.

“Great managers have employees’ best interest at heart. They support them publically and privately and communicate both praise and criticism constructively. A great culture is open and allows people to take on new challenges even if it means failing occasionally. When managers and cultures align to support their people, it’s difficult to entice them to leave,” Harris added.

About Harris Allied

Harris Allied provides premier Executive Search, Technology and Quant Analyst placement services to the financial services and tech industries. The firm represents technology and quant professionals to clients who are at a variety of growth stages: from tech start-ups to established industry leaders including small buy-side firms and global investment banks. Harris Allied’s client-centric approach allows the firm to objectively assess the strengths of qualified candidates and thoughtfully match them with the right opportunities. For more information visit

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