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Work-Life Balance: Find Your Model-Match

Sep 27, 2013

Today, many companies are coming to the conclusion that there are more to company benefits than just the usual perks. In an ever-changing, competitive world of adding top talent, culture plays a big role. During the recruiting, hiring and retaining process, it comes down to culture. Although culture can encompass many aspects, one that seems to stand out as an overlooked fringe benefit would be work-life balance. In some cases, the individual candidate is not even aware that this is a component to consider when evaluating companies. A recent Accenture survey of 4,100 business executives, from medium- to large-sized organizations, revealed work-life balance—above compensation, recognition and autonomy—was the determining factor in the overall success of their careers. The results also found half of those surveyed had turned down job offers due to how the job would impact their life. The term itself, work-life balance, will mean different things to different people. Some may define this to be a correlation of lifestyle and career, or what I want to do versus what I need to do. It is not just a matter of companies saying they offer this, but they need to know how it is defined by the individual. Only then will a company have the right model match culture for that particular employee or candidate. At Hammerhouse, we have assisted many candidates in evaluating concerns about their current work environment, including work-life balance, which may not be consistent with their personal needs. That’s when we put our model-match methodology to work using our six core components. We break down each individual’s wants and needs and match them with a company that offers those facets. We’ve been fortunate to help many professionals find a more appropriate fit and a greater level of overall career and personal satisfaction. Recently, we had the opportunity to work with a client who has been in the mortgage origination business for more than 20 years. This elite top producer had been working under the same management team for more than 15 years, and was not only successful, but genuinely liked the individuals with whom he was working. At a certain point, however, he was faced with serious and unexpected health issues that required major surgery and had him laid up in bed for two months. “You start thinking about how to make your life better, and I uncovered what I thought was important and very specifically wanted to find a new company.” It was in that moment he decided there had to be a better way. He was internalizing a lot of stress and that was creating his health issues. He needed to make a change and find a company where he would not be faced with the same issues that were causing him such a high level of stress. Despite his incredible success in the past, and fondness for his co-workers, he was convinced a change in employer was necessary. He needed to find a better work-life balance. “I contacted Hammerhouse and specifically told them what I was looking for and they heard me loud and clear.” This is where the model-matching process began. We identified what the client was seeking: A national firm, not a small banker; high values and morals that were consistent with his own; a company geared towards purchase business, a strong operations team, effective marketing and flexibility. After understanding the candidate’s initial needs and wants, we moved forward with our objective consultation. We explored the unique value propositions of the companies that we initially believed were well suited to what our candidate had to offer. This process allowed all parties to evaluate the existence of a model-match. In the case of our top producer, we found a firm that we believed presented a high-potential match and shared the specifics of the company’s attributes. Our candidate liked what he heard and felt the company offered the work-life balance he was seeking. Both parties determined they wanted to move forward with an in-person meeting at the company headquarters.  We prepared both parties by discussing, in detail, questions that needed to be addressed in order to determine the full impact of the model-match. Our candidate’s meeting was a success and both parties determined they could develop a mutually beneficial relationship. Our candidate was offered, and accepted, a position with the new company. “When all was said and done, I went with this company because of their high values and morals. I went with what my gut told me.” Our client had successfully found not only the work-life balance he had been seeking, but also additional benefits that were also uncovered during the discovery process. Although he had never used a recruiter before, our client says, “I developed a relationship with Hammerhouse, and when I needed them, they were there. This was all based upon Hammerhouse listening and finding the right model-match.” He adds, “It turned out to be a brilliant move, for my career, my personal life, my financial life and my health.  It’s the best company I have ever worked for. I’m very grateful.” Regardless of the type of work-life balance challenges presented, finding the right model-match for both parties is a win-win situation. Employees are happier, have increased job satisfaction, and achieve greater success; while companies can target, attract and retain top talent, and improve the organization’s success over the long-term. Eric Petersen is a managing partner at Hammerhouse LLC, an expanding national recruiting and strategic growth firm for the financial services industry with mortgage sales and leadership placement at its core. He may be reached by phone at (949) 525-9408 or e-mail [email protected].
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