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The Hiring Manager: Best Practices to ‘Hire for Fit and Success’

How does a Hiring Manager Identify the Right Candidate for the Job?

Precisely identifying the model candidate among a multitude of applicants for a strategic or other high-level position is, at times, arduous and often quite challenging. Managerial and executive roles typically require appreciable experience and education in addition to specific personality traits, skills, and management styles. The more critical the role, the more difficult it can be to pinpoint the candidate who will ultimately be the best fit for years to come.

Fundamentals for Hiring Managers - Selecting the Best Candidate

Adhering to a few basic guidelines can help you attract model applicants and ultimately make the best selection when it comes time to extend an offer of employment. When evaluating your approach to hiring and screening, carefully weigh the hiring concepts outlined in the three checklist questions belo

Is your Position Explicitly Defined? Be sure to create a specific, detailed job description inclusive of minimum work experience and education criteria. Highlight the regular responsibilities of the role, reporting structure, as well as your expectations for growth and development in the role. A comprehensive, detailed list of requirements, objectives, and expectations will help attract more qualified applicants. Moreover, it will also help you to organize your own thoughts and expectations for the role as the selection process moves forward.

Are we Limiting Ourselves? Think outside the box. Resist traditional or entrenched (and perhaps outdated) habits that have influenced the way you evaluate candidates. The 21st century talent pool is more diverse than ever before and today's successful businesses embrace change and diversity. In the modern job market, even organizations based in our country's remote rural areas will uncover talented, qualified applicants from contrasting backgrounds and cultures. Dispel any pre-conceived ideas or biases and evaluate each candidate objectively. Long-gone are the days of one sex or ethnicity dominating one particular role. Businesses holding onto antiquated concepts of bias in any way are limiting themselves from an accessible and dynamic talent pool. Ultimately, such ideals often cause a business to fail as a consequence of its own inability to evolve and adapt.

Is the Candidate a Cultural Fit? Be prepared to evaluate your candidate's personal styles against your company culture once arriving at the interview stage. Before you begin accepting resumes for a position, be sure your company culture can be clearly described by those involved in the hiring process. Your management team should reach a consensus on questions like "What's our style? What do we expect from each other? What do our customers expect?" A company culture encompasses the overall feel for how things get done each day and how the company grows in an intangible sense. Once you reach the phase of interviewing your candidates, ask, "Does this candidate fit the needs of our company culture?" A qualified candidate with the right experience, who is also a cultural fit, will stand a far greater chance of succeeding in the role and delivering the type of results you expect.

Hire for Fit and Success

Many executives, managers and business owners are often surprised to find out that their hiring methodology does not comply with the basic checklist test described above. While these three items serve as a strong starting point, adapting each of them to your personal hiring approach may require a concerted investment in time and effort. However, the benefits will become increasingly evident over the long term.

Alternatively, many business owners seek the counsel and expertise of a third party to conduct a comprehensive, objective recruiting and interview process. Hiring an executive search firm, a practice whose primary objective is to identify candidates representative of the best long term fit, is well worth the investment in terms of implementing the interviewing and hiring process correctly. If you're unsure about your hiring approach or would like to understand how a top executive search firm can benefit your business in the long term, call Kokott, Wood & Associates today.



Kokott, Wood & Associates provide a collection of proprietary articles sharing facts and suggestions modeled around industry trends, corporate cultures, changing markets, as well as tips for interviewing and improving resumes.

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Why Kokott, Wood & Associates

Kokott, Wood & Associates specializes in placements of executives, management, IT, and other professionals in the C- Store and Petroleum Industry. With over 75 years of actual industry experience, our executive search professionals have the knowledge and insight to identify the right candidate to excel within your organization.

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  • Testimonials

    “Now that everyone is settled in, I have a few minutes to say thank you for your assistance in helping me land this position. Prior to my job search, I had never worked with recruiters and didn’t think I would ever need to. As you know, I had my resume with several other companies, but I’m glad your posting worked out for me. For starters, your description of the company, the hiring manager (now my VP), the pay plan and the area were so correct. This really helped us in deciding to pursue this opportunity and was especially helpful when we moved here. It was as we expected (hoped) it to be.

    Thank you so much!

    Wholesale Fuel Manager, Midwest Fuel Wholesaler / Distributor

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  • Testimonials

    "Klaus carefully orchestrated an action plan geared to differentiating my unique talents from the rest of the crowd. He readily made himself available to offer guidance and conduct thorough mock interviews designed to bring out my personal strengths and value to the hiring company. His focused approach not only helped prepare me for the interview process, but gave me the confidence that I was the right person for the job. Klaus is a top notch recruiter committed to strategically preparing clients for positions he has deemed are a strong fit. He truly cares about the success of his clients and the contributions they will make to the organization."

    Category Manager, Southwest US Retail Company

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    "I wasn't sure of the value of your Retained Search process when you first proposed the concept to me. I can now tell you (and others), it is the only way we'll ever conduct another search. You told me it would save me time, eliminate frustration, and provide me with a selection of 3-5 very qualified Candidates. I was truly impressed with the detail of Candidate information and your qualifying process; it was as if I knew the Candidate before I ever interviewed them. The time you spent with us, learning about our business, our culture and what this key position would be responsible for was time well spent. The most difficult task for us was that of making the final selection... "

    Fred - President/CEO - Retailer - East Coast

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  • Testimonials

    Having been a part of the recruitment process on both sides of the table I can definitely say that my experience with Kokott, Wood & Associates was a privilege. From the initial stage of describing the role & the company to the final negotiation stage - Kokott, Wood & Associates made sure all parties were well aware of the situation at hand. There wasn't one point in the process where I wondered where things stood and what next step(s) needed to take place. Their ability to communicate their client's expectations, company culture, and need(s) for the role could not have been better. It was a pleasure working with Kokott, Wood, & Associates, and I would highly recommend working with their professional team. I look forward to the next time I deal with them as a client.

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