Coming out of the 2019 HR Technology Conference & Expo, there seem to be a thousand emerging technologies to improve the hiring process. Machines can organize databases, create a better user experience and track end-to-end processes. Once we've conquered those things it's up to the humans to refine the courting process.
It's that time of year when people are job hunting: Q4 numbers not where they should be, tenure has not created an opportunity for advancement and graduation is moving interns into professionals. All reasons to dip thy toe in new waters. It is exciting and incredibly uncertain.
Determining where to spend your life, based on a few conversations, is a daunting task. The company brings their most-engaged employees forward and the candidate makes sure to get a fresh haircut. While there is nothing more exciting than starting a new career, nothing is worse than realizing you made the wrong choice a month into the job.
Here are a few things I've found divinely important in making the right career choice.
People don't leave companies, they leave bosses. More so, people leave companies that silo their development to their direct manager. We hear endless stories of outstanding talent leaving companies because their boss is abusive. The great shame in it all is the shock the company feels when future superstars leave. People seldom blow the whistle on their under-qualified leader.
Performance reviews need to be opened to more than just a person's manager. Employees should have confidence in their ability to rate their boss's performance. Closed-door one-to-one meetings should be eliminated.
Hiring managers need to be genuine when describing their leadership style during the interviewing process. Employees should feel comfortable asking their peers (including HR) about your future boss' leadership style. If he/she asks you why you asked others about them, their insecurity has already been revealed and you should not work for them.
I am of the opinion that crowd-sourced review sites are places where disgruntled former employees go to vent. Satisfaction surveys, in general, seem to be populated by those who either had a really good or a really bad experience.... neither of those benchmarks create action planning.
Go to Happy Hour with the team during the interviewing process. If people complain the minute their butts hit the stool it's probably a sign of misery to come.... or it could mean you are going to ascend quickly among the bad actors with whom you've been cast.
Great leaders can help you find a true life mission in picking up trash. In the absence of such a vision, you'll need to find a company with SOMETHING that you would be proud to tell your children about.
Ask yourself a few simple questions:
In describing what you do for a living will people reply, "That's Interesting?"
Will the work you are doing on a daily basis make someone's day better?
Find a person in the interviewing process for whom you would jump over a wall. If that person doesn't exist, finding long term inspiration might be difficult. There are CEO's who inspire from the pulpit, organizational leaders who prove their commitment by practicing what they preach and those without a leadership designation who simply make everyone around them better. Any of the aforementioned people can be the difference in making your career a meaningful journey. Find them and give them the power of your attention.
Every job has its pros and cons. At a certain point, it is incumbent upon the employee to take ownership of their Employee Experience. Things will never be perfect, but if you can check the majority of qualifications we explored above, an engaged career is likely.
As virtual work becomes the new normal, virtual culture is driving inclusion. Creating a path to development is as much an employee practice as it is a management expectation. Acquiring talent based on fit is the only way to create mutual success. If you are chasing a candidate that is over-qualified, their ability to thrive may be diminished. If you pretend a company is a great place to work, you'll probably be spending your time trying to find a way out.
Originally published on Dave's Weekly Thought blog.