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If you are a recruiter, you are quite familiar with the phrase “cultural fit,” but in most cases it’s coming from a client who wants to make sure a new hire will fit in with the existing team. But cultural fit is an important requirement for job candidates, too, especially for Millennials. 

A recent article illustrates this through a story about a worker they call “John.” At a time when many young college graduates were struggling to find work, a Fortune 500 company John had interned for created a full-time position just for him. He was getting great experience and making decent money. But he was only partially satisfied. Why? In short, because he had no friends at work. As the youngest employee, he had little in common with his co-workers, and even if he did, he never got the chance to discuss it with them because they were frequently traveling and worked through lunches.

It may seem silly to some to leave a good job at an established, successful company because the social experience is less than satisfying, but John did just that. His new employer offered co-workers in his age range and a more “lively atmosphere.”

There are a couple of take-aways from this. First, don’t underestimate the importance of a cultural fit to the employee. This is especially vital if you are placing Millennials. They want to have fun at work. They want to make a difference. They are not going to be happy sitting chained to a desk from 9-5. They need to be acknowledged and rewarded. And they need to feel a connection with their co-workers. If you place them in an environment that does not fulfill those needs, they likely won’t stick around long.

The second take-away is that you have the ability to ensure a cultural fit for BOTH the client and the candidate. You can allow them to try each other out through a contract-to-direct arrangement. This allows the client to evaluate whether the candidate’s work ethic and values match that of the company. And it gives the candidate the opportunity to see if this is somewhere they would really enjoy working. Contract-to-direct provides an advantage to recruiters as well. On top of the money you make for each hour the candidate works while on contract, you can earn a nice conversion fee. Who says you can’t please everyone?

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