Southwest Michigan First is an organization of privately funded economic development advisors who act as the catalyst for economic growth in Southwest Michigan. Technically economic developers, we are also known as problem solvers, change agents, business advocates and leadership developers.
How to Get Hired
We asked Southwest Michigan First for some inside information on how to get hired at the organization. Here is what they had to say.
What key characteristics tell you a prospective employee will be a great fit for your company?
At Southwest Michigan First, we prioritize hiring talent that will run at our fast pace and fit well with our team and culture. Candidates for a new position complete a Talent+ interview conducted by our partners at WSI, in which they are scored in the categories of Achiever, Work Intensity, Resourceful, Exactness, Positivity, Customer Centricity, Urgency, Command, Responsibility and Discernment. Those who score in the top percentiles are invited to a “team fit” interview. Our team members meet as a group with the candidate and ask questions ranging from “What do you like to do on the weekend?” to “What would be your dream superpower?” This conversation lets our team decide whether we want to spend each workday with that person. Each team member sends a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to a point teammate afterwards; this feedback determines whether a final interview with the position supervisor(s) will occur.
What can prospective employees do to get your attention?
Regardless of a prospective employee’s current position, an individual gets our attention when they act as a “ceo of their responsibilities,” owning their current role by bringing innovation and leadership to their job every day. At Southwest Michigan First, we search for candidates who have a knack for leading people, even when they may not technically oversee others. Prospective employees often don’t even have a background in economic development; we believe in hiring talent, and believe we can train and coach new hires into a role. In fact, many of our team members were previously coaches, teachers, stay-at-home moms or even an interior designer! Whatever a prospective employee’s current role, they can get our attention through being innovative and positive with an eagerness to learn and grow.
Are there any positions or types of candidates you are particularly focused on hiring in this coming year?
We are excited to grow our team in the coming year! Southwest Michigan First plans to hire positions related to finance, creative work, sales and event planning. For each position, we’re looking for candidates who are passionate about serving their team and our investors. Applicants should have remarkable organizational skills and think strategically, ready to be off and running at a fast pace.
What should interested candidates do to find out more and get started?
More information about Southwest Michigan First may be found at www.southwestmichiganfirst.com. We don’t release detailed job descriptions for the positions we hire, as we prefer to cater the specific responsibilities of positions to our team members’ personal strengths. To apply for one of our openings, interested candidates should send their resume to our ceo, Ron Kitchens, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.