In today’s challenging job market, job seekers have access to an incredible number of employment and career advertisements from many sources. Most job advertisements include the customary listing of information about the company; they have the duties of the position and typically summarize the types of qualifications and experience the preferred candidate should possess. Many seem to be a little clinical and a bit tired. If you are like me, after reading a lot of job advertisements, you may be left wondering what the organization is looking for in an employee.
As an expert in employee and labor relations and as a new columnist today, I would like to tell you what most organizations and employers are looking for in the employees they are trying to recruit. What I can’t tell you is why they don’t come out and say it plainly in their advertisements.
Directly to the point, employers seek to hire those individuals who act and behave like they “own” their jobs and careers and seek to avoid those who seem to “rent” their position. Those of you with experience in the workforce are probably familiar with job “owners” and job “renters” in your workplaces.
The following are some of the key differences between job “owners” and job “renters.” When reading these elements, think about which you may be or which you would prefer to have as a coworker or a teammate. If you were the owner, think about which you would choose to hire.
Job renters often exhibit many of the following behaviors and attitudes. The most extreme and accomplished serial job renters can display all of these and perhaps more! Job renters are often late for work but leave early, failing to make up for their tardiness. They criticize leadership and their coworkers, complain about even the smallest of matters, and make excuses for their shortcomings. They chronically complain without offering a better or workable alternative.
They often produce less than others. They take short cuts that often lead to rework for their coworkers and ignore the rules, including safety and respect. My observation is that job renters often feel they are above the rules and policies of the organization and often spend more time working to argue their way around them. They are often careless with equipment or materials. Job renters are typically the first to leave for breaks and the last to return to their workstation. They usually have many appointments requiring time away from work and seldom seek to schedule personal appointments outside work hours.
Job renters often have high absenteeism. They are often the ones who seek to bend the rules in their favor, of course, typically to the detriment of their coworkers and the organization. The mantra of job renters includes a very healthy dose of “their rights” while rarely including a snippet of “their duties and responsibilities” to their coworkers and the organization. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. I suspect that many of you are thinking of the names of coworkers, supervisors, or managers who tend to demonstrate “job renter” behavior.
On the other hand, “job owners” typically and routinely; show respect and a sense of caring about the well-being of their coworkers and the organization. They treat equipment, materials, and products with due care. They willingly participate in work activities to improve safety, efficiency, and team spirit. The mantra of job owners typically includes a healthy dose of consideration for others at work and the customer or consumer of the products or services provided by the organization. Job owners truly reflect an understanding that the success of the organization they work for has a direct impact on their long term employment, career plans, and their overall satisfaction in life.
The next time you apply for a job, consider how you can present yourself. Are you a “job owner” or a “renter” or someone who tolerates the job and does what’s necessary to perform an excellent job for your paycheck? Even though it is likely not in the job advertisement. In today’s society, employers are changing their perception of what an employee should reflect. Some employers are aware that many employees don’t love their jobs, so their expectations are different. Most are looking for job tolerance, employees who can satisfactorily perform their jobs without too much fuss. On the other hand, some employers only care about productivity and an employee who shows up for work on time and ready to put in a good day’s work.
Note: Job renters and those who tolerate their work, consider becoming an entrepreneur, and start your own business! I would also venture to say that some deemed job “owners” are those who use their jobs as a form of social involvement. They tend to get a little too involved in the position and make it a significant portion of their lives without a few other social activities outside the job. Some job “renters” are there for one reason only it helps pay the bills! And its nothing wrong with that in a capitalistic society. We don’t all love the work we do.