The top trait employers want can't be found on your resume or even in a typical one-hour job interview. What they want to know is this: Do you play well with others?
From entry level mailroom clerk to the top boss in the corner office, almost all employers are looking for someone personable. They've learned the hard way that difficult, obstinate and fractious employees cost them big bucks in time and productivity. Workplace bullies need not apply!
The Associated Press reports that even with a labor shortage in many sectors, employers are still being picky about whom they hire, stepping up efforts to weed out people who may have the right qualifications on paper but have the wrong personality.
Since the only way to find out if you can be a team player who gets along with others is for employers to get to know you, be prepared to endure lots of long interviews. Some companies, such as Whole Foods Market, hold group interviews where employees who work for the hiring manager also grill the candidate and actively participate in who gets hired--and who doesn't.
Call it the likeability factor. For example, even though Rackspace Managed Hosting, a 1,900-employee computer server hosting company in San Antonio, Texas, is actively seeking new hires, they're still being super picky about whom they employ. Rackspace CEO Lanham Napier told AP, "We'd rather miss a good one than hire a bad one." The company is divided into teams of 18 to 20 people, and many of the team members have become close personal friends outside of work. Napier says their interview technique is to drill down past fake pleasantness. "They're here for nine or 10 hours," Napier explained to AP. "We're very cordial about it. We're not aggressive, but we haven't met a human being yet who has the stamina to BS us all day."
Kris Thompson, vice president of human resources at Lindblad Expeditions, a 500-employee adventure cruise company, summed it up nicely by telling AP, "You can teach people any technical skill, but you can't teach them how to be a kindhearted, generous-minded person with an open spirit."
--From the Editors at Netscape