The employer’s dilemma: The ultimate driving machine or you?
A well known career site recently asked me to offer some job search advice to young professionals and I am delighted to do so; however, I hope the information is relevant to all job seekers, regardless of their level or industry. I have interviewed many job candidates during my career, and I offer you these suggestions based on that experience. While the selection process seems like a huge mystery, it is quite simple. You, as a job seeker, need to understand the “why’s” behind the interview process and I am also offering you some “how’s” which will give you a competitive advantage. So back to that BMW.
Consider the average cost of selecting a new employee:
Entry level professional = slightly used BMW 128
Mid level manager = new BMW 320i
Senior executive = brand new BMW 500 – 700 series
You may be surprised at the high cost of hiring and selection. Studies show that the cost of interviewing, selection and training replacement employees costs between 30% and 80% of the employee’s annual salary.
In my recent post, Why Only Three Interview Questions Count, I explained why the hiring manager’s interview questions are simply designed to answer the following:
Can you do the job?
Will you do the job?
Will we like to work with you?
The first two, designed to identify if job seekers have the education and experience, as well as interest and motivation, are certainly easy to understand; however, I sometimes get a quizzical facial expression from someone when I explain the last question.
What is the likeability factor?
Likeability is based on human nature. We naturally want to work with people who are like us or who we would select as a friend. In the business of employee selection, it also has a deeper meaning. Approachability, a positive outlook, can do attitude—these are all attributes which appeal to others and result in effective work group dynamics, great customer relationships and performance outcomes. Other likeability influencers are included in Tim Sanders’ book by the same name.
How do I demonstrate likeability in the interview process?
LinkedIn Profile: Many career thought leaders, including myself, strongly believe that LinkedIn has replaced the traditional resume since you can include much more information than the resume allows in the standard two page format. Your photo can reflect your approachability, your values can be shared in the section where you post your community involvement and volunteer experience and your personality can shine on LinkedIn by what you share as your Header, in your Summary and listing your Strengths.
Resume: While not as extensive as your LinkedIn Profile, you can influence others by your choice of words and sharing of accomplishments, experience and other factors that show value to the employer. Research of target organizations is needed to understand your audience and to match the resume to the culture of the company. Doing so can create a very favorable first impression and the interviewers look forward to meeting you to learn more.
Interviews: Eye contact, the greeting and handshake all convey a message between job seeker and hiring manager. Your physical appearance, including what you choose to wear and your posture, sends a message of interest and confidence, or of disinterest and cockiness.
.So the next time you are applying or interviewing for a position, remember that you may be as valuable to the organization as a BMW, whose ads read “the ultimate driving machine.” Are you the ultimate employee for XYZ Corporation?