Back in the mid-90’s, I moved from one career to another. I was nervous about applying for jobs because I thought I was unprepared for the new roles. I wasn’t, but I let negativity creep into my mind.
An older co-worker shared a bit of wisdom about job searching that has served me well 25 years on. She told me, “when applying for a job, always seek the psychological advantage.” What she meant was to understand and really believe that “the job needs me as much as I need the job.” That’s not saying that a positive attitude alone will get me every job. But it helps to recognize that employers advertise jobs because they have a need. And it should be YOU that fills that need.
Believe me, there aren’t many employers who ENJOY the hiring process. They would rather be running their business and making money. Good employers know that good employees are the life blood of their company. To them, hiring is a necessary part of doing business. The easier you can make hiring for them, the more they will see you as a problem solver.
The psychological advantage (PA) also means asking good questions to be sure the company and role are a good fit for you. The more you question, the more serious and selective you appear. The goal is creating an employment relationship where you both get what you want and need.
Read Part 2 for how YOU can create PA in your own job search.
Trained and motivated employees have become difficult to find. No longer can you post a job and expect dozens of qualified candidates to flock to your door. This is most true for trades and other skilled roles that are still in demand but are less encouraged in schools and homes.
To attract more and better job applicants today, there needs to be a clear message for why they should:
For younger workers it’s opportunities to use technology, be creative, and grow with the company. For older workers, it’s a chance to move from a dying career into a thriving one. For those not seeking work at all, it’s about connecting with what excites and challenges them.
By creating a compelling story, employers provide information and incentive for potential employees to take notice. This allows those who are a good fit to see there’s a match.
Every company should write a “Why You Should Work Here” story that includes:
The goal of the “story” is to attract candidates who want to do the work and discourage those who are settling or unmotivated. It’s about attracting the right talent to your door and giving them reason to want to work with you. What is YOUR story?
Starting a new job may be one of the most stressful events in our lives. While there is much talk about job change frequency in the 21st century, I’d say that what remains constant from past generations to today is the concern for how successful we will be in our jobs.
According to a 2016 Human Capital Institute survey (http://www.hci.org/hr-research/onboarding-outcomes-fulfill-new-hire-expectations), respondents believe the most effective onboarding practices for reducing time to proficiency are Performance feedback from Manager (80% of respondents), Training Classes (76%), and Written Performance Goals and Timelines (61%).
Falling in as less effective behind these responses are the common peer mentoring, social learning, and self-paced training. This says to me that new employees respond to specific, goal-oriented, and direct interactions with someone of authority in the new company.
While busy managers may prefer pairing a new employee with a peer for orientation and training, that mindset leaves out an important part of the experience: feeling valued by the company and management. Managers are responsible for the growth and success of the organization and their employees. Being absent from the NEO process sends the wrong signal.
A good NEO program weaves in and exemplifies your company culture. It communicates the principles that guide your purpose and actions. It teaches your teams how to be successful and why they should stay working for you. A NEO program should go as far as needed to ensure employee understanding and buy-in of who you are what you do.
A good NEO program includes these elements:
David Koster is the owner and principle consultant of Team Learning Services. He has 30 years experience in the education and learning industry.