Find Shared Core Values
Pointing out the generational differences in the workplace is now a stale conversation and no longer makes us the shining star. One of a few ways older job seekers can combat age discrimination and disrupt the hiring process is through relationships in the company and sharing common core values with the company itself.
In 2003, I worked for a small start-up where mostly everyone had families and marriages, but there was a high sense of integrity. I think that was why I made the cut as the questioning during the interview was to unveil my tolerance of a lack thereof.
It’s not that older workers are incapable of grasping tech, it’s the behavior– kicking and screaming about learning one more new thing. There is a place to meet in the middle where it’s possible the company inherently rewards behavior reflecting its core values.
Core values for most older workers manifest in their life and career
Employers can’t train personality or strong core values in employees. Although companies will emphasize the job skills gap, they want employees with the right soft skill set. One way for older workers to connect with employers is to display high core values. Employees are more invested in the company’s mission when they share core values.
These values for most older workers manifest in their life and career. At the company I worked for, the manager went out of his way to ensure we were clear about our customer’s expectations and how it should be reflected in the store first. It was drama-free, unlike the bigger company I had just left. If older workers find out if they mean something to an employer, it can serve as leverage to hire, especially if core values mean something to both.
An older worker has a tighter grasp on his or her core values. Younger workers focus on their hard skill sets while most older workers possess applied knowledge, skills, and an acute awareness of self. Core values change over time and may match the employers, and the fit may result in serious consideration. If an employee makes business decisions driven by shared values, then it works out perfect for both. Employees are more invested in the company’s mission when they share core values.
As an older worker, it is up to you to find common ground at every opportunity
Employers examine core values during the hiring process. Behavioral Assessments are used to pass candidates to the next round, usually to a person-to-person interview, but don’t measure core values. The common ground becomes evident when the candidate and the employer grow familiar with one another through the process.
Along with the other research you’re conducting on companies (you are researching companies, right?), research the company’s core values. Here are few things that should stand out if the company emphasizes their core values:
– Core values should be EASY to find
Zappos has a complete page of their core values. In fact, you’ll find several pages where they list their core values and how they affect Zappos culture. It seems core values drive the company’s mission to succeed and the employee is its most valuable catalyst for success.
– Do they provide training of their core values?
Zappos also spend three days of training during their onboarding training for new hires. The opportunity as a wiser and seasoned job seeker to share the company’s core values would solidify their worth to the company.
– Look for the company with core values in action
Press releases are a good way to find out if the company practices what they preach. If a company says, they embrace diversity and community, is it reflected in management and volunteer community? Surely there are pictures from the community they serve that proves this, right? Bank of America is another good example of stating what their core values are but also showing how it manifests throughout the company on their YouTube channel.
– Is the company’s leadership talking about it openly
OK, they have clear core values as a page on their website. Are the company’s President and C-Suite executives talking about them in their communication to employees? How about the press? Well, see what Sharon John, Build-A-Bear’s CEO says about her company’s core values and how talent alone isn’t everything.
– Are they responsive to questions about its core values
If a company says it’s a family, they should support employees who have families such as maternity and parent leave, right? While working for the start-up, it was apparent families came first. Not only were the questions about family answered in my interview, but also constant reinforcement occurred throughout my time there.
During this period my sons were in grade school, and when emergencies came up, there was never a problem leaving early. The company I left was also supportive of families, but what was different was the small family feel of the start-up. It wasn’t possible for a large corporation to replicate. You’ll need to discern how
Excellent skills are necessary but what will make an older job seeker fit in the company? Look beyond the desktop and start finding out what makes the company and its leadership motor run. You can often find it in the core values and how it aligns with yours.