describe the imageA nationwide study conducted by CareerBuilder has uncovered the factors that influence a hiring manager beyond matching job skills. The survey included 2,076 hiring managers and human resource professionals across a variety of industries and it asked them to reveal which factors would make them more likely to choose one of two equally qualified candidates. The top responses were as follows:

  1. The candidate with the better sense of humor: 27 percent
  2. The candidate who is involved in his or her community: 26 percent
  3. The candidate who is better dressed: 22 percent
  4. The candidate whom I have more in common with: 21 percent
  5. The candidate who is more physically fit: 13 percent
  6. The candidate who is more on top of current affairs and pop culture: 8 percent
  7. The candidate who is more involved in social media: 7 percent
  8. The candidate who is knowledgeable about sports: 4 percent

“When you’re looking for a job, the key is selling your personal brand,” said Rosemary Haefner of CareerBuilder in a statement. “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.”

On the flip side, the survey also asked executives to identify the factors, other than subpar or average performance, that eliminated employees from consideration for promotions. The responses were as follows:

  1. Someone who says, “that’s not my job:” 71 percent
  2. Someone who is often late: 69 percent
  3. Someone who has lied at work: 68 percent
  4. Someone who takes credit for other people’s work: 64 percent
  5. Someone who often leaves work early: 55 percent
  6. Someone who takes liberties with expenses charged back to the company: 55 percent
  7. Someone who gossips: 46 percent
  8. Someone who doesn’t dress professionally: 35 percent
  9. Someone who swears: 30 percent
  10. Someone who doesn’t say anything in meetings: 22 percent
  11. Someone who cried at work: 9 percent
  12. Someone who has dated a co-worker: 8 percent

The survey also found that promotions don’t necessarily mean higher compensation. 63 percent said that a promotion at their company doesn’t always entail a pay increase.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive(c) on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,076 U.S. hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between May 14 and June 5, 2013 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,076 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 2.15 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

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