While strong skills and experience are essential to getting a job, many employers were found to take other factors into account as well. A sense of humor, an eye for fashion or even knowledge of current affairs and pop culture can also play a part in influencing a hiring manager’s decision.
Employers were asked, if they had two equally qualified candidates, which factors would make them more likely to consider one candidate over another. Their responses included:
- Better sense of humor (27%);
- Involved in his or her community (26%);
- Better dressed (22%);
- Had more in common with the candidate (21%);
- More physically fit (13%);
- More on top of current affairs and pop culture (8%);
- More involved in social media (7%); and
- Knowledgeable about sports (4%).
“When you’re looking for a job, the key is selling your personal brand. Employers are not only looking for people who are professionally qualified for the position but also someone who is going to fit in at the office,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Once you get the job, however, the process doesn’t simply stop. Employers will continuously assess personality, performance and behavior when considering prospects for promotions. You want to treat your current job like an extended interview for the next job you want in the company.”
The study was conducted online within the United States, by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder, among 2,076 U.S. hiring managers and human resource (HR) professionals (employed full time, not self-employed, nongovernment) between May 14 and June 5.