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Will the right work experience be enough to land the job?

There is a job for which you have the relevant recent experience, worked for similar type companies and with accomplishments matching those which are required in the new job.

Your odds of getting to the head of the queue are very high.

However, in addition to professional history and accomplishments, other criteria also come into play in a hiring decision.

These include.

  1. Compensation fitment

  2. Stability in past roles

  3. Cultural fit

  4. Adaptability and flexibility

  5. Demographics

  6. Joining timelines

When shortlisting roles, assess your fitment on these too.

These tend to be more subjective or confidential and are rarely detailed in a published job description. Insight into these can be got in conversations with the hiring team or from someone already working in the organization in the group which you are applying to.

i. Compensation fitment

Where is your compensation expectation relative to the pay range for the position(s) you are aiming for?

More opportunities are likely to exist at the median of the pay range. They become fewer towards the top end of the range.

Candidates aiming for compensation at the upper end of a pay band will need to often cite their ability to bring greater impact and productivity and hence deserve to be paid more. When making that case, be prepared to show demonstratable evidence of how.

Rakesh is applying for a national sales manager with a growing SaaS company. Having led sales for two similar startups which grew and are now known brands, he believes he will be able to facilitate faster growth and differential performance. On this track record, he is aiming for the top end of the pay band for comparable roles.

With some companies it could work. Some, though, may have a ceiling on pay for a role type and may be constrained by that. Worth checking but be willing to adapt.

ii. Stability in past roles

Hiring takes effort and cost. Making a new hire productive does too.

David enjoys new experiences and has changed jobs every 12-18 months. Jane has spent her 15 work years about equally divided among 3 employers.

In hiring decisions, those who have stayed on long enough to deliver results for past employers will always get a preference. Candidates with short tenures and frequent shifts can tend to be viewed as non-productive, or uncommitted.

iii. Cultural fit

Susan worked for a leading travel services firm and then joined a very well-funded travel tech startup. With the former employer, quality and integrity came first, even at the expense of speed. With her current employer speed to market is key. Quality is important, but speed is more important.

Check out the culture of the company you are aiming to work for. Does it match the work environment which you are looking for?

To be able to talk about the culture of your potential employer and how you fit in is always a plus.

iv. Adaptability and flexibility

Over time, the requirements of a job can alter. Responsibilities get added, reduced, or changed.

Are you willing and able to adapt to changing responsibilities?

Have you done so in the past? Took on different work, stretch assignments, moved to a new group or company and succeeded?

Did it, say it.

v. Demographics (race / gender / alignment)

Diversity and inclusion are themes of our times, and also with employers.

Tech companies have been working aggressively to bring more gender diversity into their engineering teams and into senior leadership roles. Many have made public announcements about this.

Till recently, a leading services company was offering a referral bonus of as high at $40K to employees for referrals of LGBT candidates to fill senior roles.

An underrepresented minority in the field of applicants is going to get a very close look.

vi. Joining timelines

If recruited, when is the hiring firm looking to have the incumbent in place?

It can range from 3-6 weeks but always best to check at the start of a job discussion.

In December, Siva landed a job to sell infrastructure services. The new employer was looking to have him join in early January so that he would be on board in the start of the new fiscal year. At that point he realized that he needed to be with his current employer till mid-March to get his annual bonus. The amount was substantial, and the new employer was not able to match it as a joining bonus.

He is going to be out of money or have to drop a good opportunity.

In closing

In addition to work experience and a good match with required work accomplishments, there are other factors to also consider when shortlisting jobs for yourself.

Can they afford you?

Does your future employer value stable employees or is receptive to those who have moved jobs? Do you fit into the culture of the company. Is there likely to be shifts in scope of work as you age with the company?

Your potential employer will very likely look at your fitment on them. You should too.

Add these to the evaluation when shortlisting jobs, and hone down to the roles which fit. Then go for it.

Happy hunting!


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