This is a guest post from Sonia Winland .
Finding a job in this economy has become difficult and down- right frustrating for most. During the dot.com boom, finding a job was so easy that all you had to do was reply for a position and receive an on-slot of offers.
These days, finding a job means facing tough competition and fighting the unknown in a tight market. This inherently makes the hiring criteria stricter, even if the minimum requirements haven’t changed. Recently I saw a video of a company that engaged 3 prospective applicants vying for one position. Each applicant was assessed on how well they engaged with a team, problem solving and their ability to work as a team. Even though it didn’t appear to be a hard task, it helped the company measure their thinking ability, personality, how they fit into their culture.
Culture is the foundation of a business, how its run, how each person interacts with each other and how well they work together to get things done. Some might say it is unfair and that job placement should rely solely on experience.
Skills can be taught, but teaching someone to fit into your culture can’t. As much as I can agree, and I can also disagree. Businesses want to know what that an employee can bring to the table. Your experience is spelled out in your resume, but how will it relate to how you interact with your co-workers? Watch this video to see what I mean:
When I worked with one firm, the one thing we wanted most was personality fit. Will this new person be able to take our banter, joking, sometime “bad language” or topic discussed around the office? In this video, each applicant was put into group activities to allow the employer to see the “real person” behind the resume. The activities play an instrumental role, but as time goes by, their true personality comes out and the real interview begins. This video clearly demonstrates they wanted to hang out with each applicant to see how well they interacted with the entire team.
Think about it this way:
When you walk into a room, you are this perfect Onion. As time goes by layers of this of you start to peel off till it reveal your true character. Some of us put on our best face for the interview, but are they getting the real you?
Here is an excellent example about culture and how it will affect their decision on hiring you:
Central Concepts about Culture
Professors Ken Thompson (DePaul University) and Fred Luthans (University of Nebraska) highlight the following seven characteristics of culture through my interpretive lens.
Culture = Behavior. Culture is a word used to describe the behaviors that represent the general operating norms in your environment. Culture is not usually defined as good or bad, although aspects of your culture likely support your progress and success and other aspects impede your progress. A norm of accountability will help make your organization successful. A norm of spectacular customer service will sell your products and engage your employees. Tolerating poor performance or exhibiting a lack of discipline to maintain established processes and systems will impede your success.
Culture is Learned. People learn to perform certain behaviors through either the rewards or negative consequences that follow their behavior. When a behavior is rewarded, it is repeated and the association eventually becomes part of the culture. A simple thank you from an executive for work performed in a particular manner, molds the culture.
Culture is Learned Through Interaction. Employees learn culture by interacting with other employees. Most behaviors and rewards in organizations involve other employees. An applicant experiences a sense of your culture, and his or her fit within your culture, during the interview process. An initial opinion of your culture can be formed as early as the first phone call from the Human Resources department.
Sub-cultures Form Through Rewards.. Employees have many different wants and needs. Sometimes employees value rewards that are not associated with the behaviors desired by managers for the overall company. This is often how subcultures are formed, as people get social rewards from coworkers or have their most important needs met in their departments or project teams.
Getting the job is only half the battle providing you can deal with the slow decision-making process. Companies don’t want to make a mistake and hire someone that only appears to be the real deal. Your resume, only tells half the story. Will you be friend or foe?
About the Author:
Sonia is the creator and founder of LogAllot where she blogs about Marketing, Blogging and Travel tips. She is a blogger, golfer and bass fisher.