Can you get hired for a job you aren’t qualified for?
Sure, it can happen, but it isn’t easy.
A lot of people decide to do something different and jump into a different career. In order to make this leap, you have to prove that somehow your past experience qualifies you to perform the new job. Career advisors recommend highlighting “transferable skills”- things like communication, problem-solving, and other overarching skills to link abilities to the requirements of the new job.
Here are three simple questions recruiters/HR/employers ask to filter job candidates:
- Can he/she do the job? (experience/skills)
- Does he/she want to do the job? (motivation)
- Can I see myself working with him/her? (cultural fit)
Anyone screening candidates knows there are many factors to consider and that hiring is not an exact science. Bottom line… quality of hire is the most important recruiting metric.
What we’ve seen recently from The White House does make you wonder who is making the hiring decisions.
It takes time to get things up and running and successfully implement change. I’ll watch, learn and wait. What about you? In the meantime, here are lessons we can all learn from The White House’s recent hiring decisions.
It Started At The Top
Selecting a new CEO to implement change in an organization happens pretty regularly. But here’s the difference. The selected CEO candidate has relevant work experience either in the job or in the industry. This means the CEO candidate has implemented change- which is never an easy thing to do.
We elected someone who is supposedly a smart businessman. He’s proven he can grow his business and personal wealth through real estate development and a host of other side businesses. There are several reasons why this may not have been a good fit. First, The President was the CEO of companies he and his family started. Next, he was not a CEO of a company that reported to shareholders. And finally, the government doesn’t operate like a business. It wasn’t designed to. Our government operates by its own set of rules and policies, many of which are spelled out in the Constitution, and aren’t easily changed.
Unqualified and Ill-Equipped
Some jobs have rules or procedures that need to be followed. Without an understanding of these rules, it’s going to be difficult to perform the job appropriately. You’ve just seen what can happen when someone without prior communications experience gets hired for a role that requires such knowledge. Sometimes transferable skills just aren’t enough. This is why employers are so fearful about hiring someone without relevant experience.
It’s Based On Who You Know
As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know (and who knows you).
If you don’t have the qualifications for a job, one way to bypass the applicant tracking system and proceed to the interview phase is to meet people who work inside the organization. This certainly seems to have worked for some recent hires at The White House.
Always Conduct Thorough Background Checks
HR policies usually require a background check on a pending job candidate and speaking with several references. There’s good reason for these steps. This vetting is a way to uncover any skeletons that may be in the candidate’s closet.
When Starting A New Job…
If you are starting a new job, want a promotion or just want to hold on to the job you currently have, here are lessons to learn from The White House’s this year:
- Treat everyone with respect.
- Know the rules of the game and when to break them.
- Build trust by being truthful.
- Be a source of inspiration and positivity.
- Don’t shoot from the hip.
- Listen carefully.
- Do not manage by fear and intimidation.
- Avoid using profanity.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.