Thursday, 25 February 2016

What the Minions movie taught me about job hunting

The Minions sole purpose is to follow the most evil boss they can find. They are completely fulfilled by following their master. They are easily distracted from their current master if a new, more evil master comes along.

They don't get paid. There is no package and employment conditions are dubious to say the least.

What we could all learn from the Minions is that their choice of employer is solely based on leadership. The more bad ass the boss, the more the Minions want to work for them.

So when the Minions meet up with Gru, they know they have found their 'big boss'. They follow him because he is the baddest, most evil villain they have ever seen and that is what they need to believe in his leadership.

When was the last time you did this when you were looking for a job?

We all read a spec, find out where it is, what the package is.... how many times do we look into the guy or girl at the top? Not just finding out his or her name but understanding what they are about - 'why' they do what they do?

This was a question I asked myself not only because I recently have made the decision to move to another company but also because I was reading "Start with Why" by Simon Sinek. It made me question how I had been looking for roles which has been governed by the dating style dance of supply and demand rather than a desire to work for a specific company based on leadership.

The recruitment industry fulfills a difficult dance - an employer needs to fill a role and the recruiters essentially play a numbers game trying to find a fit for the person, skills, place and time to fill it. Someone might be a perfect 'fit' but unless they are ready to move on, it simply won't happen.

But how many people search for their role based solely on the ethics or purpose of a company? I'm talking about companies that have a clear intention and vision - those who are led by people who inspire us? People who have inspired an entire workforce to follow them.

On a practical note, how would we find these people or organisations? The large companies are well known - they cannot be the only ones! How do we find the next generation of Virgin or Apple? How do we know they are looking for people like you? At the moment it feels more like luck than a plan - like the Minions following a new master until something better comes along.

This is slowly changing to a more pull style recruitment drive where social media plays a pivotal role. My recently journey onto the job market was totally different to anything previously - I reached a dozen or so organisations through introduction alone. I managed my own interviews and offers and yes, it was hard work.

In the meantime, I want to pose a question:

How many of us really see an interview as a two-way thing?

Shouldn't we be interviewing them as much as they are interviewing us? As much as they are trying to find out how we will make their 'why' real, shouldn't we be trying to find out about their 'why'?

Whilst we might not be able to target our recruitment 'aim', we can certainly make sure we know what an awesome company looks like when we end up in an interview with them. That is only obvious when you find out 'why' they do what they do and you believe it too.

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