Hitting the jackpot with attitude – getting an employee who has done a variety of jobs when they were younger is like winning the lottery for an employer.
“Cleaner. Ice cream seller. Cashier. Pine tree planter. Bank clerk. Accountant. Financial director.”
The singer Marian Call wanted help in writing lyrics for a song about work and asked people via social media to list their first seven jobs. Now these lists are all over the social media with the hashtag #firstsevenjobs. These lists reveal how people’s work experience differs and it seems that many are genuinely interested in checking out the work histories of their friends. Memories of youth spring to mind and nostalgia sets in.
Welcome to another day in recruitment! A recruiter gets to peek into people’s pasts every day and see what kind of steps each of us has decided to take or ended up taking in our career and life. A CV can say a lot about a person’s attitude to work. Attitude is usually held to be the most important factor when looking for work, because attitude often makes the difference between good and excellent. So, attitude is what employers look for, but few of us can express in words what attitude really means.
This summer, Barona’s recruitment consultants from different lines of business came together to a workshop to ponder work and recruitment. One task was to list what makes a good work applicant. The following words started to appear on the Post-It notes:
Motivation, attitude, work experience, berry picker.
Berry picker? Yes, indeed. To be a berry picker, there is no rigorous screening process and no experience is needed. All the employer wants is a hearty attitude and hard work. So, following a recruiter’s line of thinking, if someone has spent their summer in the fields picking berries as a 16-year old, then they are not a stranger to honest hard work. An aching back and fingers dyed red by strawberries have not been obstacles: the most important has been to get some valuable life and work experience as well as a bit of money. If a person has already got a taste for working when young, it gives the impression that they have a pretty straightforward attitude to work. Working when young gives an impression of initiative and enterprise, and this gives recruiters a real impetus to ask such a person to interview.
Even if the question is looking finding someone for challenging expert work, having experience of practical work is still a definite plus. Hard work and patience can be learnt through practice. And it’s even better if that practice was started early.