There is a shift happening in the way recruiters and companies hire. The old steadfast system of trying to quantify a potential candidate’s success based on school reputation and GPA, no longer carries the weight it once did. In fact, there are some companies that are abandoning GPAs as a qualifier altogether. Instead they are choosing to focus more on analyzing the candidate’s behavior either in real-time or through gamification. Why? Because there more jobs emerging that require adapting and learning as you go. If a candidate is more comfortable being told what to do and following a specific set of instructions rather than accepting a challenge or being willing to try something new, it could hurt his or her chances with recruiters.
The Personal Approach
The 2016 Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report showed that 60 percent of recruiters rate culture fit of high importance when making a hiring decision. When it came to GPA, only 19 percent gave it credence. One of the most notable companies leading this new line of thinking is Google.
That’s right. Google doesn’t even ask for GPA, or test scores for that matter, from potential job candidates anymore. Part of the reason is they found little correlation between GPA and success at the company. During an interview with The New York Times, Google’s Senior Vice President of People Operations Laszlo Bock explained that academic environments are artificial in that students who succeed there are conditioned to succeed in a largely controlled environment. Meaning they are trained to give specific answers and Bocks thinks, “it’s much more interesting to solve problems where there isn’t an obvious answer.” Bock goes on to say the only method that works are behavioral interviews, where’s there’s a consistent set of questions that ask people what they did in specific situations.
Three Traits Employers are Looking For
So, if GPAs are passé, what should potential job candidates concentrate on to impress employers? Students should start with these three traits:
Being able to pick up concepts and procedures quickly, learn on the job, and take the initiative are the golden qualities companies are looking for in potential employees. While there will always be a certain amount of training that goes into any job, the employees who tend to perform the best are the ones who don’t need to be constantly watched and aren’t afraid to ask questions to get the information they need.
Having good people skills isn’t limited to those working in the customer service industry. Interaction with coworkers, bosses, and other personnel is something every job will have. Being able to intelligently manage the social landscape, intelligently respond to other people, read the social situation, and reason with social savviness is what will separate good candidates from exceptional candidates.
Even if a job candidate is somewhat passive in his or her job hunting, recruiters can still find them thanks to their online presence. Therefore, it’s of paramount importance candidates keep their ePortfolios current and their social media presence free of questionable content that could harm their chances of landing an interview. Candidates should view their online life as their professional brand and what that brand stands for matters; often reaching far beyond their social circle.
Share in the comments if your school is still placing a high emphasis on GPA.
Photo Courtesy of: cytech