Human failure on both sides of the desk often complicates a job search. Applicants may apply for an unsuitable job or bungle a smaller part of the process. Employers make mistakes, too.
How can you avoid these situations? Showcase a standout feature the employer wants and, if you find yourself under-skilled but in a good company, take the initiative to make up for your deficit.
CJ Scarlet, CEO of Roving Coach International Inc. in Clayton, N.C., a coaching firm in the United States and United Kingdom, engages virtual consultants through a vigorous vetting process. Still, she and her other two partners took on three commission salespeople she says they should have rejected.
Focusing on the subject matter expertise of each candidate, the partners could see that they were HR leaders or project managers but lacked sales experience. The applicants themselves also goofed by not asking enough about sales responsibilities.
They were delightful people, Scarlet recalls. None were bad choices. They were just out of their comfort zone. We should have hired for the sales experience rather than the industry experience.
In one case, the partners were desperate to fill the slot; in the other two cases, distracted by the candidates love of the company, its mission and its vision.
There were no open salaried positions. Only one of the three told the partners that she just wasnt doing that well in the job. Giving up wasnt the only recourse.
Its really up to the employee to initiate conversations, Scarlet points out. They might have come up and said, I want to be successful, with your help and guidance. Lets talk about training, coaching, classes or bringing another person on a sales call.
If you dont job hunt well but have a standout feature an employer wants and you communicate it, you still might get the job.
Edward Ryabovsky, director of staffing solutions at Staff Intell LLC in New York, N.Y., recently recruited and screened a person for senior manager of tax (non-income). The man seemed highly qualified for this unique role with very stringent requirements, Ryabovsky says.
He followed every rule, down to sending everyone on the interview panel a thank-you email.
The candidate appeared to be a shoo-in until he emailed each interviewer the wrong note. Because the job requires attention to detail, he almost derailed himself.
The issue for us focused on whether this was a careless oversight or a lack of detail, Ryabovsky explains.
The candidates ability to shine in every other aspect of the interview became the standout quality that rescued him.
Similar botched applications didnt deter some candidates of staffing recruiter Jennifer Lenkowsky, managing partner at New York Citys The Corporate Ladder LLC. She places support staff with salaries of up to $250,000.
I think a lot of people are desperate or feel desperate in interviews, she comments. Two Ive placed more than once have very calm, intelligent personas. They had a mission.
A former finance executive whod received severance after 9/11 brought a resume with assistant jobs on it without attempting to obfuscate, Lenkowsky indicates. Another woman, re-entering after maternity leave, mistyped a references telephone number; so the senior executive to hire her didnt.
However, the HR Department found her extremely likeable, a quality that overrode the clerical error.
If your skills dont match the job, do something about it. If they do, let them know that youre what Lenkowsky calls an I-want-to-be-here candidate who conveys this is the job for me. Make your standout feature override the others that dont.
Dr. Mildred L. Culp welcomes your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2013 Passage Media.