Julian Bray writes: Over the years, I've both hired candidates from and been hired through different divisions of Hays Group. The jobs market has however changed over the years and by all accounts its much, much tougher now. You can now no longer walk out of one job and straight into another. I was having a conversation , along these lines with a young man who with some mentoring - initially resisting the help offered - is now positively taking hold of an earlier troubled life, and making a career for himself in an industry, he really enjoys.
The following post by David Smith makes the important point that a degree is in the greater lifelong scheme of things, not that important. The recruiters are in fact looking for much more. I'd sum it up as lifeskills, something that parents and/or guardians should be impressing on their charges almost from day one... it will also give hope and motivate those who perhaps didn't do to well at school.
If you have young adults within your family try and discuss this article with them, or at least get them to read the original on the link below. The jobs market may be tough, but it really is open to all. Rather than going through the brickwall, try going around it. The result is the same but might just take slightly longer...
"Sorry graduates, your degree is one of the last things I’m interested in"
says David Smith
Although I’ve worked on the HR side of recruitment for many years, I’m pretty new to this world as a recruiting line manager. I’ll admit it has really opened my eyes to the challenges our clients face –attracting who you need, pitching the salary at the right level, asking the right questions at interview – the list goes on.
In fact, recruitment has easily been the most challenging part of the job so far.
One of the most challenging aspects has been in looking beyond the CV and trying to uncover and predict potential. We’re currently looking for a fairly recent graduate that has drive and a passion for the subject. Someone that, despite being relatively inexperienced in the world of work, will be able to somehow demonstrate commercial behaviours and a will to develop and achieve.
The truth is, I just can’t see that in a CV and I can barely see it in a covering letter. I certainly can’t take it for granted because you’ve recently graduated from one of the best Universities in the world either. I love that you’ve been dedicated and intelligent enough to graduate with honours in Viking Studies but you’ll need to demonstrate far more than this to impress me.
So, what is the secret recipe? Well, ultimately, as Herb Kelleher once said “hire for attitude, train for skills”. I couldn’t agree more. The technical skills and performance will come if I know the person I hire can demonstrate some of this:
- Eagerness to learn – they’re curious and make an effort to learn new things
- Understanding others – they listen, show empathy and build relationships with others
- Personal maturity – they have a positive outlook, resilience, and an awareness of themselves.
Whether it’s in the UK, where Universities are promoting core competencies to assist student ‘employability’, or in China, where last year President Xi said emotional intelligence was more important to graduating students than IQ, the subject of social and emotional competencies in those entering the world of work is continuing to gain momentum.
Being smart isn’t enough. Demonstrating key behaviours and personality traits is important too. If you want to build your career, give these as much focus as your studies. They’ll get you in, set you apart, and hopefully provide a solid foundation to build on in the future too.
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