Over the weekend I read a rather eye opening perspective on new hiring practices in today’s marketplace. It alerts us to a significant difference in what a number of employers now value in their personnel. And the advice is particularly directed at the Generation X crowd preparing to send their own kids off to college.
The article comes from Dr. Jim Thrasher, director of Grove City College’s career services office at their Center for Vision & Values. If you’re not familiar with this group, the Center is “a leading forum for the study and application of freedom to economic, political, social, religious, and scientific issues.” Good thinkers, all of them.
This piece is titled, “Calling All Generation Xers…The Job Search: It’s Not What You’ve Done, But Who You Are.” (link below) Dr. Thrasher is convinced that Gen X parents need to understand the paradigm shift in job placement. It’s different from their day when the degree earned dictated the career path.
Previously, as one corporate recruiter explained, the college educated candidate showed up with the right degree and, if the company liked the person, the job was theirs. Today, companies are looking at a candidate’s design. It’s called “behavioral interviewing.”
In this new world of evaluating talent, aptitude and transferable skills are most prized. According to Dr. Thrasher, “The behavioral approach was developed by Development Dimensions International (DDI) and is being widely used by HR departments.” I’m already a believer in what is being preached on this.
To quote how this analysis is applied, “As the aptitude of the candidate is assessed, the company must confirm that the applicant has the ability to be trained (many times in a whole new field or career) to fulfill the job requirements.” The company also searches for people with specific transferable skills needed to excel. These transferable skills include characteristics and attributes applied in daily living, including modes of operation and design. And as Dr. Thrasher claims, “Transferable skills rule the day in today’s job market.”
This behavioral approach puts high emphasis on the “uniqueness” of the individual. Applicants have to present a certain “fit” to score the job. Once a company finds the desired design in a candidate, they can train them for specific roles.
This new model brought two things to my mind. First, when my son sent his resume off to a very large high tech firm, it went to several departments for jobs in which he took interest. But when the company called to offer him employment, they explained he didn’t quite fit any of those jobs. They did, however, suggest one that would fit. And like the behavioral approach indicates, my son has changed jobs within that corporation several times in a few years—each time being trained with his adaptable personality style.
The second item I recalled was taking a personality assessment a few years ago as part of a course offered with a men’s ministry. The evaluation tool, “Your Unique Design,” costs $35 to complete. The benefit of knowing your assessment results is to help you “discover and leverage your best gifts and talents that are part of your God-given personality.”
Once you complete the questions, you receive a 10-page Personal Profile Report. It explains your core strengths, talents, and abilities in detail. Developers believe you are “wired by God” and once you understand that wiring, you’ll see why you do what you do and─what makes you come alive! (Find out more at www.youruniquedesign.com.)
All my work life I’ve tried to make work fun. Only after reading my assessment from “Your Unique Design” did I see that my personality thrives on this. If a place ceases to be fun (or a job), I’m an unhappy camper! The payoff for others I’m around is that I try to make work fun for them as well—assuming we’re on task.
This blog message today is really meant to serve as a very practical reminder that God has created us in such a way that our uniqueness has purpose—especially in our work. I found it encouraging to learn that employers are now finding value in this uniqueness. Stronger, more effective workplaces will likely result!
In the Psalms, we are reminded of this uniqueness. King David wrote in Psalm 139, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” (Psalm 139:13-16, NLT)
Reality in the workplace today finds that graduates may wind up in a number of different jobs. In other words, you must be flexible. Important not only for your career, but for life as well.
You don’t have to explain that to Gumby!
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Calling All Generation Xers…The Job Search: It’s Not What You’ve Done, But Who You Are