Your quality resume opened the door, but it’s only the first step in securing that dream job.
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Today’s HR departments have a burgeoning array of tools to assist them in the candidate-selection process. They’re crunching data on psychometrics, IQ, EQ, physical appearance and aptitude to uncover the evidence to support a merger with Brand You.
Your mission is to present a persuasive performance that exposes – if not the real you – the ideal candidate for the job. It means being able to articulate how your qualifications and experience, your vocational goals, and even non-work-related activities align with the organization’s strategic focus.
Google assesses, among other things, “Googlyness”: “Your comfort with ambiguity, your bias to action and your collaborative nature.” At Kraft, being an ardent fan of macaroni and cheese won’t sway the selection panel unless you’ve also got sound people-development experience, listening skills, and mental agility.
But although the rules of the game may vary, most organizations focus on some key factors. Here are three things HR looks for in an employee:
Organizations want quick-change artists – people who recognize shifts in and out of the workplace and rapidly adapt their approach to suit. It’s not just about operations. Intercultural and generational flexibility can carry as much weight as talent and past experience.
Seventy per cent of employers in the UK and 58 per cent in the US see “intercultural skills as very important” according to a report by Booz Allen Hamilton, Ipsos Public Affairs and the British Council. Similarly, with four generations now sharing office space, it’s critical that you’re willing and able to find common ground for the good of the business.
Smarts, spirit, courage and a sense of fun may not be prerequisites for a suburban accountancy firm, but employers of choice are likely to insist on candidates who enjoy a challenge.
The hiring process at LEGO Australia & New Zealand includes a presentation to the selection panel demonstrating expertise in the role as well as a “top secret” brick-building exercise.
“We’re a high-performance team; we expect a lot out of our employees, but we want you to have fun while doing it,” says HR manager Kimberly Burton.
Intelligence also logically comes into play at DFAT, where strong academic achievement must be matched with the ability to “work under pressure, occasionally in difficult environments”.
You can forget all of the above if you don’t have a deep appreciation of your chosen brand, because there won’t be time to settle in. No honeymoon period. In an aggressive job market, you need to be able to “hit the ground running” and prove a worthy investment from day one.
It worked for Californian Andrew Smith. His career passport was stamped with visas from around the world that, along with a massive presence on social media, helped him stand out from 330,000 applicants in Tourism Australia’s latest Best Jobs in the World campaign. Appointed Chief Funster for NSW, he’ll spend six months as a “professional party-goer”.
It may not be everybody’s dream job, but it’s a living.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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