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X Marks the Sweet Spot – Digging Beyond the CV to Unearth True X-Factor

X Marks the Sweet Spot – Digging Beyond the CV to Unearth True X-Factor

X Marks the Sweet Spot – Digging Beyond the CV to Unearth True X-Factor

“How did you get that job?”

It’s a question we have all been asked at some point in our careers. Why do we all seem to ask or be asked that question? Could be a result of

a cool job,

a job one’s never heard of,

the boring job of a boring person,

(you’re not actually interested, just making small talk),

first jobs,

a job the person sounds wildly unqualified for…

If you’re asking the question, you usually get an answer along the lines of:

It’s my parent’s business,

I applied online,

I knew someone,

in the right place at the right time,

and my least favourite…

oh I don’t even know, feel like I’ve worked here my whole life.

Sometimes you luck out though and actually receive a full account, a tale so inspiring you question whether it is genuine or just a furphy. The person speaks with passion about how they worked hard to weave their way from application, to interview, to second-round interview, to final interview, to a fourth interview, to the actual final offer.

Angela Kinsey, star of the American Sitcom ‘The Office’, shares her clever (but mostly cheeky) technique for landing a job on Late Night with Conan O’Brien ~ listen here!

The world of ‘job hunting’ is justly named. It’s intense, requiring persistence and resilience, because we all know that you don’t get the first job you apply for, nor is an online interview or even a face-to-face interview ever a guarantee. Looking for a job is a job in itself. This is where resilience is key; how you write a cover letter or present yourself in an interview is within your control. For those currently searching, try not to be too harsh on yourself, it’s a learning experience and often a numbers game. The persistence is important for the things you can’t control. Maybe they scratched the position after posting it. They might have decided they need someone with more experience. Perhaps they posted an entry-level position but decided to allow applicants with 5+ years’ experience to apply so they could get senior level work for the price of a junior. It happens. It sucks. Let it motivate you.

Now it’s time to put our recruiter hats on.

Here at Xeople, we pride ourselves on six core values, the first of which puts the ‘X’ in Xeople. We believe that everybody has an X Factor which is more important than what you might find on a resume. If you’re looking to hire employees with a future focus, then you need to break free from the constraints of today’s ideas. You are never going to know who will align best with the values of your company if you don’t take the time to learn about the person sitting across from you and what their goals are for the future. After all, with high employee retention as a key goal, you should really be hiring people that you wouldn’t mind working with day-in day-out.

Once you’ve done the initial screening of your candidates to make sure they meet the key requirements for the job, use the interview process to understand how they work and what they will bring to your team, from creativity to culture. Oh and if your first thought here was to ask them behavioural questions, you’re really just scratching the surface. A candidate’s answer to the classic “tell me a time when” if they’re professional and prepared, will be a well-rehearsed script of answers that paint them with glowing colours in time-management, teamwork, and conflict resolution. *End Scene*. A good applicant will tailor their cover letter to your job ad, so it’s important to provide a bespoke candidate experience in return. If you roll out the same questions to each person, you will likely hear the same sort of answers, which means choosing the successful applicant could come down to recency bias or superficial preference. If this ends up being the case, what then was the point of sitting down with them?

Good recruiting is a skill and at Xeople we believe will always require a human touch. If you set ‘having an X Factor’ as a knockout question on Seek, you’re going to confuse the robots. In the off chance that you do get an applicant come through, you will probably be reading someone’s CV who incorrectly believes their experience as a contestant on The X Factor makes them suitable for an interview with hiring managers. Good recruiters will know when someone has put effort into their application and really understands the role they’re applying for. Being able to then connect with them and get an even deeper sense of their drive and sincerity is invaluable, because no candidate would answer a follow-up call if they had to speak to Siri.

Values all xfactor

A quick shoutout to the recent graduates because they deserve some love and attention. If you are a recruiter reading this, willing to give someone their first gig, please be kind. Don’t make an applicant drive from Rye to Hopper’s Crossing for a 30 minute in-person final interview, only to then ghost them without closure or feedback. Yes, this is a true story and no, there’s no good reason for it in 2023. As newbies to the world of work, these graduates are looking to you for guidance; help them find their X-Factor.

If you came here hoping to find another business’ dry take on AI, I hope you have been pleasantly surprised. P.S. If anyone has a life buoy, LinkedIn needs saving – it’s drowning in posts about Artificial Intelligence in recruitment software.

AI belongs in the back end of your business, helping improve the efficiency and automation of your tech. If you want applicants to prove they didn’t use chat GPT to write their application, then consider not relying on it to do your whole job. We’re a tech company, we believe in using tech innovations to reduce errors and increase productivity. This should allow you to create unmatched candidate and client experiences, not to have you kick your feet up. It is important to keep a technology balance and find new ways to outpace your competitors. There are some areas within business where it will always be best to have a human-touch. Guess what? If everyone is using AI, what’s setting you apart?

Finding the right employee is worth its weight in gold. If you’re looking for treasure, ‘X’ marks the spot.

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