In towns all over Western New York, there are employers struggling to stay open or complete available work due to having open positions or unreliable employees. Hiring Managers are taking chances with candidates who may not meet all the qualifications or have one or two warning flags in their history in order to have someone in the role.
Employers are now much more open to training someone who does not have direct prior experience for the role. The main criteria, besides making sure the candidate will fit well into the existing team, is whether the person will be reliable. The idea is that if the person has a good attitude and shows up timely ready to work a full day, then they can train and motivate the person into being a productive employee.
The wonderful thing about being reliable is everyone is capable of being someone who is counted on. It does not take any special skill or area of knowledge to be really good in this area. Unfortunately, the attributes it does take (such as discipline, self-motivation, structure) are traits that are not always shown by employees (or by people in general). There are, however, things you can do to make sure that you not only properly communicate that you are reliable, but be able to prove it, also. Let’s review what you can do to be someone who is counted on:
• Be Accessible: Try your very best to answer your phone when called by a recruiter or Hiring Manager. Return your job search related voice mails in a prompt fashion. If you have been reached by e-mail or text, the same expectations that you will respond back in a timely fashion applies.
• Be On-Time Virtually: Be there and ready to go for any phone screen or video interviews. If you are doing a video interview, make sure you are ready with the technology, prior to the appointment. Be sure to have the software downloaded and be familiar with logging on and basic user functionality. For both a phone or video discussion, try your best to be in a spot where you will have quiet and not be interrupted.
• Be Early In-Person: For an in-person appointment, make sure you are a little early for the engagement. Arriving 15-minute prior to the appointment is usually considered to be the most acceptable time to be there. In order to make sure you will be early, travel to the location prior to the event. This way you will know the best route and how early you will need to leave your drive. Since this is Western New York, prior to leaving the house, check for any weather, car accident, or road repairs that will cause you to leave earlier or take a different route.
• Maintain Your Routine: Keeping a standard routine to your day can make being reliable at work much easier. By trying to go to bed each night at a certain time and scheduling enough time for sleep, you can significantly increase your morning timeliness. If you are not someone who naturally wakes up at a certain time, then set an alarm to assist you. If waking up to an alarm can prove challenging to you, then consider setting up more than one way to notify you in the morning, such as a traditional clock radio and your smartphone. If getting going in the morning can be a difficult for you, then consider doing items the night before, such as picking/laying out your clothes and organizing your breakfast and work lunch.
• Communicate Your Reliability: Anyone can say that they are “never late” or “never call out,” but you will want to go a step beyond that and actually show how reliable you are. You can do that by noting any “Perfect Attendance” awards that you have won. You should also coach your references to make sure they work in how much you could be counted on when needed.
Being reliable is critical to Hiring Managers for a variety of very valid reasons. Of course, the most basic is that if you are not at work when you should be, then you are not getting necessary tasks done. This not only potentially upsets clients, but also severely stresses the employees who do come into work and must cover for the unreliable person. A manager can also infer that a reliable employee is also more likely to be productive and hit deadlines, etc. because they have the discipline and necessary structure.
Employers are struggling to attract and retain employees in today’s work environment. Employers who used to have a laundry list of candidate requirements, now are happily settling for a good person who gives them a full shift of work. For a savvy job seeker, being able to tangibly show the Hiring Manager that they will be a reliable employee will go a long way towards being hired.
As always, best of luck in your job search.
The following has been prepared for the general information of RochesterJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.
WNY Human Resources Professional
Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at: