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Is hiring just a popularity contest?

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Tell us if you think the hiring process is just a popularity contest, as featured in Monday's Career Advice e-newsletter. Do you think companies interview with profit in mind? What experiences do you have with interviewing at companies that focus less on profit and more on "popularity"?

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by bweaver In reply to Is hiring just a populari ...


I am a little confused now. For several months I have been reading your article's and they have all been very consistent regarding the approach one should take when career searching; until to day that is. Your comment of "Are companies actually interviewing candidates with profit in mind? I'd guess that relatively few are" says that by following your previous advice one would be limiting their odds of success to those relatively few companies that hire with profit in mind. And that applying your methodology to a company that does not hire with profit in mind would only yield results if the candidate also had a personality that meshed with the company. It sounds like one would be better off to play the odds and apply for a position based on personality.
Am I missing something?

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Theory vs. Reality

by WindRider In reply to Comments

Souds like you are mixing THEORY described in the media or by a consultant with REALITY. Always a dangerous predicament.

No matter how accurate a model is, it departs from reality some of the time.

The best way to tell how good a model is ,is to have performance statistics. Metrics provide a factual basis upon which we can base important decisions.

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Is hiring process a popularity contest?

by jlutz In reply to Is hiring just a populari ...

I think it is to some degree, and I have no problem with it. Yes, a company is in business to make a profit. But, if profit was the only concern in running a business every business would be an adult Web site. Just as most business owners prefer to run a business that they enjoy and are comfortable with, most also want to work with folks that meet those same requirements - and they are entitled to do so.

A good hiring manager looks at both - fit and finanaces.

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Corporate personalities

by Prefbid II In reply to Is hiring just a populari ...

Companies have personalities just the same as people do. To work for a company where you "grate" oneach other is an invitation for disaster no matter how good you are or how "focused" you claim to be in searching for profits.

Sure, profit is a bottom line driver for the company, but there are many indirect ways to focus on profit without having to show a math formula to prove how you personally add to the bottom line. For example, a job that requires interaction with customers needs to have a calm disposition (I don't care if it is a fuzzy term). That calm disposition adds to the bottom line, but you will never find a formula out there that says a score of 96 on the (fill in blank) personality test equates to $14,000 to the company bottom line.

The same goes for a lot of other intangibles like teamwork, organizational skills, leadership, planning, interpersonal skills, etc. However, they are all an important part of how a company makes money.

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It's NOT just about money

by T Bowman In reply to Corporate personalities

Profit is the bottom line, however, money isn't everything. Just like in evaluating your current position to determine if you want to take that offer from XYZ, Inc. Sure, the money you make now may be a bit low - but what about the perks? Or the co-workers? If you have a great job, you are more apt to be happy working for less money. The same may be true for companies. They balance their 'bottom line' to 'organizational fit'.
We've all been in jobs where we liked the work/money, but the boss/co-workers made life miserable - so we look elsewhere. Or, we hated the work/money/hours but the boss/co-workers were great to work for/with... so we stay.
Life and business IS about more than just money and if you DON'T get that... your missing out!

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by MichaelPO In reply to Corporate personalities

Today, it is all about teams. I am talking about getting work done that generates profit. An incompatible personality can kill a whole team's production. You must be technically skilled, but that is not enough. The days of putting a tech behind a cube wall, throwing over specs and getting code back are gone.

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Clear Communications

by Terryn ( In reply to Teams

I agree that the days of the anti-social tech guru are gone. As consultants, we constantly send IT folk into a variety of situations, and the feedback we consistently get is that their communications skills added the most value. The ability to communicate *why* a business unit needs or can/cannot get what it wants is critical. Especially in mid to large companies, it's all about the team and communicating with others.

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Do you fit?

by nonsuch In reply to Is hiring just a populari ...

Most firms I have come across in the UK have a very simple method of recruitment. They lay down a "Personal Specification". Any applicant who does not meet its requirements is rejected automatically by the HR Department; any person who approaches a member of staff regarding their application is rejected automatically.

Any one lucky enough to get through to the interview is then assessed on the basis of how well they interview.

They may not win the popularity stakes but at least they meetthe specifications.

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European model Vs Real Nerd model

by Lwood In reply to Do you fit?

Sounds to me like the UK has embrassed the "politically correct" architecture of management. Which is exactly why your objective should be to circumvent this room full of idiots known as "HR" and try and find the hiring manager within IT. I would rather have a comfortable person out in the front (help desk) answering calls, with the highly technical "nerd-not necessarily PC" in the backgroud resolving the real technical issues of the day.

HR could be asking for to much-a great technologist with the political touch of an executive secretary"-get real. To obtain a job through HR declares "you are a great politician"-and more than likely you are not a great technologist. A hybrid employee is rare-great management/communication skills in combination with great technical skills-very rare bird.

Did someone mention something about profit?

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This IS how it works in the US too

by kentward In reply to Do you fit?

I have read this news letter for what seems like years. The ideas are great, but the real world applications are not there. EVERY job but one I have gotten as and employee is because I knew someone (the one was with Lockheed and the hiring manager went through applications). HOWEVER, the Networking, get to know someone (we actually used to call it Hustling) takes months or years. When you need a job you usually don't have that much time. ALSO, 99 out of 100 jobs (this is NOT an overstatement)that I have applied for required the Resume through HR. The hiring Manager would not even speak to me. This is with using personal contacts. I have spent months searching door to door person to person.

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