What’s the secret to getting hired? Every job seeker wants to know the answer and Inc. magazine may have found something close. In a recent survey, representatives from 330 Inc. 5000 companies were asked: “What’s the No. 1 factor in the employee selection process?” What they found in response can dramatically influence your job search.
42 percent of companies value the interview over every other factor in the hiring process. After that, the responses broke down as follows:
• 30 percent selected employees based on a gut feeling for a fit with the company culture.
• 13 percent selected employees based on recommendations from peers/coworkers.
• 5 percent selected employees based on experience found on the resume.
• 2 percent selected employees based on other references.
What does that mean for job seekers?
Experience isn’t the end all be all. Very rarely does a company find a breakout candidate who puts all others to shame. Most final candidates are on an even playing field with their impressive skills and experiences. So don’t worry about being outmatched. Instead, articulate your unequivocal value to the company.
A cultural fit can elevate your chances. Want to stand out in the employee selection process? Make yourself seem like a natural fit. Employers don’t want to figuratively force a mini USB cable into a micro USB slot. It won’t keep new energy flowing.
So, find out all you can before an interview. Here are a few resources to review.
• The Company’s About Us Page – A company’s core values, mission, history, and awards can be scooped up here.
• The Company’s Career Page – Core values, team structure, work/life balance, and often perks.
• Glassdoor – Leadership style, team structure, and work/life balance can all be gathered from employee reviews. However, always take the more vitriolic ones with a grain of salt.
Even during the interview, you need to ask questions to help show you’re a cultural fit. Here are just a few ways to do it.
• Ask which behaviors are rewarded. Highlight those behaviors within your previous jobs.
• Ask about the level of teamwork and independence allowed on everyday projects.
• Find out how the company stays cutting-edge. Make sure it fits with your own learning style.
The more parallels you can draw between yourself and the company culture, the better you can move through the employee selection process.
Recommendations can bump your ranking in line. Don’t leave yourself waiting in the traditional queue. Enough hiring managers give credence to coworker & peer recommendations for it to be worth pursuing their help.
But don’t you need to know one of their employees in the first place? Not necessarily.
It’s all about target networking. Find your ideal employer, identify their employees through their LinkedIn profiles, and start to engage with them in any of their industry related groups. Never start off by demanding or begging for a job. It’s a way to get yourself blacklisted real quick. And once you’ve built up a relationship, don’t let it slip away. You never know how that connection will benefit you in the end.