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Company Culture fit more important than Skills?


Rover

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http://m.news.com.au/TopStories/fi1168913.htm

Extract:

CANDIDATES with the right skills are being overlooked by employers more interested in "cultural fit"with their company, experts say.The trend is being seen across a wide range of industries and even in highly-skilled roles like project management, Hays recruitment firm director Nick Deligiannis said."For most roles soft skills and cultural alignment is just as important - if not more important - than technical ability,” Mr Deligiannis said. “There’s been a considerable push by employers to hire for a cultural

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Yes, I've definitely found this to be true. Some of the interviews I've been to, they've asked questions which relate to this. Very 'touchy-feely' stuff unrelated to my actual skills or the work I'd be doing.

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I would have thought a lot of these soft skills are important skills in their own right and should be assessed.

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i had an hour interview for my job, then an informal 2-hour 'coffee chat' as a follow-up a few weeks after to assess 'whether i would fit into the team'....

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<p>

<br />

i had an hour interview for my job, then an informal 2-hour 'coffee chat' as a follow-up a few weeks after to assess 'whether i would fit into the team'....<br />

<br />

<br />

</p>

So one third 'can you do the job' and then two thirds 'will you fit the team'...

Interesting...

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This is a very encouraging post for me.

Finally a culture that respects one's determination and ability to learn new skills based on the environment you work in. I have had two periods in my life here in South Africa that I was unemployed, the first was for 18 months and the second 13 months. Every single interview that I went for I was turned down because I did not have the "skills" they were looking for or I was not of the correct colour or gender. I eventually got so sick of hearing these typical lines of rejection that I stopped using recruitment agencies and started networking with old friends and eventually, in both cases, I found employment because I knew someone who new someone who was willing to employ me based on what I was potentially capable of and not just my skills set.

Every job I have held I got this way and had to prove myself by working my way up from the bottom. I do not have any formal qualifications in the IT world but I have the skills and knowledge acquired over the last 15 years of working in different IT sectors. If I was ever to start my own IT company, I would not hire people based solely on skill but work ethic and culture. I believe in adding as much value to any job I am in and am looking forward to the opportunity to prove that I am as capable as the guy with the book knowledge. Lets just hope that there will be someone in Australia that be willing to employ me based on work ethic and experience and not just pure skills.

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That is also good news for me.

They see if you can fit in and not only the skills.

Then more poeple might be able to get sponsored jobs that does not have a qualification?

Good good but surely it has its backlash at some time.

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So one third 'can you do the job' and then two thirds 'will you fit the team'...

Interesting...

Yes, of course. Its as clear as day light to anybody who has ever worked with a very capable person on paper, that was sadly also a complete d**s.

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<p>

<br />

That is also good news for me.<br />

They see if you can fit in and not only the skills.<br />

Then more poeple might be able to get sponsored jobs that does not have a qualification?<br />

<br />

Good good but surely it has its backlash at some time.<br />

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The problem is that you need to be there for them to be able to see it. I have not come across any IT companies that would judge purely over the phone yet, except where the skills are highly specialised and rare, enough so that personality doesn't matter.

Unfortunately my skills are not that rare. If fact, shake the proverbial average 'IT Bush', and three or four like me tumble out.

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Hi Rover

I know the feeling. I am in the class of IT guys that sit at the foot of the proverbial "IT Bush" and wait to get hit by the falling pro's. It feels like I am always one step behind the masses. It's an expensive hobby keeping one's self updated with all the latest skills in software and hardware. Unfortunately I am the kind of person who adapts and will learn new skills based on the job I am employed for. I have been an AccPac Accounting software support consultant, Visual Basic developer, web designer/developer and currently work as a network administrator. I never studied anything and have no formal qualifications, teaching myself the skills that I have needed. Fortunately we are going to Australia based on my wife's qualifications, I will have to start searching once I get there.

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Hi there,

In my experience they do off course check whether you have the minimum skills to do the job as well. When I read the original news article I dissagreed with the reporter's views in some ways because it seems as though they are suggesting that employers will sacrifice quality purely to get in somebody that fits in. From what I've seen I wouldn't completely buy that. It's more a case of if it came down to hiring somebody who is exceptionally well qualified but won't fit into the culture of the business versus hiring somebody who only just has the required experience/skills but really fits the culture well; the latter person will get the job most of the time. Skills you can teach to someone with the right aptitude and attitude, but no matter how qualified someone is if they don't fit the culture of the business chances are you'll never change that.

There is a strong 'soft element' to the interview process in Aus. Informal chats about the candidate during the actual interview or over a subsequent coffee is not unusual; and if you're in the running for a job it is important to ensure that you let an interviewer see how well you will fit in just as much as you would sell your technical skills during the interview - which for me was the key point the guy from Hays Recruitment was trying to make. Sure, this is one of those reasons why it is hard to find a job if you're not in Aus yet - fact is many employers don't just hire based on what is on paper even during time of accute skills shortages. I recon that's understandable too, the risk and cost of potentially getting it wrong and having to go through the whole process again 6 months later because the person that didn't fit in resigned and left is just not always worth the punt.

Off course you can't generalise completely though, it will probably be different from industry to industry depending on the nature of the job.

z

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I have to agree,

My wife was a teacher in SA (9 yrs Exp), who has never held an admin job, through my company we found a admin job where they want someone for part time data capture with scope to grow into a bigger requirement

We went to meet them for coffee (I was invited to come along as well) and in the meeting they let her know that she has the job as a trial run,

They will be giving training on everything required, they wanted to make sure that she is not planning to go back to teaching for at least the next few years so that they don't waste time on training for her to leave, her job will initially involve some admin and data capture, but then they will train her to do debtors / creditors & Payroll

The meeting itself consisted of them asking her what she does for fun, bit of a background on SA, how we finding Auz, in fact almost nothing on her ability to do the job, they didn't even want to discuss her CV

The moral of the story is your CV counts for almost nothing, SA experience also means zip, this is all about the people part

I also have to agree, compared to the Auz bunch SA peeps are a bit loud and full of our selves

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Sometimes I think it helps to think of all the variety of people, interviews and attitudes you have in your own country and then assume you will hit the same variety in the place you are moving to. Generalising about differences, while unavoidable and sometimes helpful, can lead to some spurious conclusions if relied on too much.

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At the end of the day you still need people that can do rather than people that can hug at off site events

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At the end of the day you still need people that can do rather than people that can hug at off site events

At the end of the day you still need people who can be arsed to do it even when they know how. ;)

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This was something that I found during my meetings in Perth. They were much less interested in my CV and skills, and more interested in having a chat with me about stuff.

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We forget that there are "fads" when hiring people. We know if you are not happy in a job, you won't give of your best. So, somone created the fad:

1) Check if the applicant has the skills

2) Meet with the candiate in a relaxed, off-site environment, get to know them

3) Make a decision on wether they will be happy working for you...

Its as much a fad as giving people ridiculously hard entrance exams that 1 in 4 pass, then claming you only hire the best! When in fact you turn away good candidates and hire guys who are good at taking tests.

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<p>

<br />

We forget that there are "fads" when hiring people. We know if you are not happy in a job, you won't give of your best.  So, somone created the fad:<br />

<br />

1) Check if the applicant has the skills<br />

2) Meet with the candiate in a relaxed, off-site environment, get to know them<br />

3) Make a decision on wether they will be happy working for you...<br />

<br />

Its as much a fad as giving people ridiculously hard entrance exams that 1 in 4 pass, then claming you only hire the best! When in fact you turn away good candidates and hire guys who are good at taking tests.<br />

<br />

<br />

</p>

Ok, no idea what a 'fad' is? Is it like a situation?

And those tests, I hate them. I am terribly bad at tests.

Interesting article I recently read about the testing of candidates and "only hiring the best"-thing. Google only take the top candidates from top univarsities. Their founder was a top candidate from a top varsity. MS and Apple were started by drop-outs and both companies would see candidates that were drop-outs, but shows potential.

Not sure how the potential is supposed to show. The last MS jobs I looked at required degrees, which was contrary to the article, but that was here in South Africa, while the article was about the US.

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Something which none of you should ignore is that you won't even make that touchy feely coffee chat /interview if you don't have the minimum skills they require for the job. They already will be impressed on paper. Please don't think that you can walk into a job here with your personality and will to learn/work alone. Check out the ads on Seek and you'll see most of them require a minimum of a degree or diploma level qualification. There are plenty of those candidates out there and they short list those for interview.

Sorry to burst anyone's bubble, I just don't want anyone coming here under the false impression that because they have plenty of gutzpa that they'll get the job.

Rover, a 'fad' is a current trend. The 'latest thing'.

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<p>

<br />

Something which none of you should ignore is that you won't even make that touchy feely coffee chat /interview if you don't have the minimum skills they require for the job.  They already will be impressed on paper. Please don't think that you can walk into a job here with your personality and will to learn/work alone. Check out the ads on Seek and you'll see most of them require a minimum of a degree or diploma level qualification. There are plenty of those candidates out there and they short list those for interview. <br />

<br />

Sorry to burst anyone's bubble, I just don't want anyone coming here under the false impression that because they have plenty of gutzpa that they'll get the job.<br />

<br />

Rover, a 'fad' is a current trend. The 'latest thing'.<br />

<br />

<br />

</p>

Does things like professional memberships to international bodies help?

What about post dilpoma certifications? Especially for those of us that have diplomas and no degree.

I've been keeping an eye on the seek and careerone ads, so I am very aware of what the ads contain. What I am most concerned about the lack of local (Aussie) knowledge as it can play a very large role in my field. That means not even getting to that first interview unless I get a break or start way at the bottom again.

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Rover, you've hit the nail on the head with what you said about getting a break and starting from the bottom. While keeping an eye on the two job sites, look out for those jobs that re-advertise. It means that they didn't find who they were looking for from the first ad. This is an opportunity! Get in there and contact them directly and have a chat about the position. Remember that the questions you ask about the position can reveal more about what you know than the answers you give to their questions. :-)

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I kept an eye on this thread and thought I would wait to post until I have something concrete. I can definitely agree that the "company culture" thing is very important, or else I would not have been offered a position by a company at which I had an interview on Friday. And I can promise you that there was another candidate that was apparently suberb technically and definitely way better than someone who has been a stay at home mum for more than 2 years. Their view is that I may not have all the skills that they want but they can teach me and it is more important that I am a good fit for the company and team.

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SANZOZ,

Just be careful... companies won't tell you things like, "The other candidates wanted too much money... but you were within budget"

I always take what companies say with a pinch of salt

Cheers

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Thanks Monsta but I'm not sure what you mean by "be careful".

(null)

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<p>

<br />

Thanks Monsta but I'm not sure what you mean by "be careful". <br />

<br />

(null)<br />

<br />

<br />

</p>

Be careful not to end up underselling yourself.

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