Like-minded people start working together

Employers are increasingly looking for not just professionals, but people who are close to them in spirit. And everyone has their own ideas. Personnel officers may ask about religious views, and about marital status, about attitudes towards the environment, and about whether you are a vegetarian. 


In a large advertising agency R & I Group, at the very first interview, the personnel officer tests the applicant for a sense of humor. “A client comes to us for a creative project and should see cheerful, relaxed people in front of him,” explains Yuniy Davydov, CEO of the company. For us, a sense of humor is like good teeth for a dentist. We show the goods by the face. In addition, American scientists have recently found that a good mood and laughter increase productivity. Laughter unites, Davydov continues. And he hires employees with a big American smile. 


Want to get a job but not sure about your sense of humor? Check not only humor – better remember all your addictions, habits and hobbies. 


It’s not just a whim. According to a survey by the portal, for 91% of Russians, an unfavorable psychological climate in the team is a good reason to quit. So the leaders realized that it is more efficient to create a good atmosphere in the team from scratch – from the recruitment of employees who would be comfortable together. Businessmen got such an opportunity with the crisis: the supply on the labor market expanded, it became possible to bargain and choose, including those guided by non-professional considerations, says Irina Krutskikh, general director of the Triumph recruiting agency. 


The creative director of the Lebrand creative agency, Evgeny Ginzburg, when conducting an interview, is always interested in how the candidate is doing with obscene language and open display of emotions. If it’s bad, he probably won’t take such a job for himself: “Our employees swear, and sob, and swear. What? Creative same people. Therefore, we are waiting for the same – internally free specialists. Internally free specialists are also expected in another advertising agency. There, 30-year-old Muscovite Elena Semenova, when she auditioned for the position of secretary, was asked how she felt about bad habits. Too bad, Elena gave the wrong answer right off the bat. The director shook his head. In this agency, which was engaged in the promotion of elite alcohol brands, it was customary to hold a morning meeting over a glass of whiskey. Everyone in the agency smoked, from the general director to the cleaning lady, right at the workplace. Elena was eventually hired anyway, but she herself quit three months later: “I realized that I was getting drunk.” 


But these are rather exceptions to the rule. More and more employers are looking for teetotalers and non-smokers. And not to swear. Smokes, for example, in Russia every second. So half of the candidates are eliminated immediately, and this still narrows the choice too much. Therefore, mostly softer – stimulating – measures are being used. At the interview, the smoker is asked if he is ready to give up the bad habit and is offered an increase in salary as an incentive. 


But these are understandable requirements, in the spirit of, so to speak, world fashion: the entire developed world is mercilessly fighting against smoking in offices. Requiring a future employee to take care of the environment is also fashionable and modern. Many bosses insist that staff participate in corporate work days, save paper, and even use shopping bags instead of plastic bags. 


The next step is vegetarianism. A common thing is that the candidate is warned that the office kitchen is designed only for vegetarians, and it is strictly forbidden to bring meat with you. But if the candidate is a vegetarian, how happy he will be to work together with like-minded people! He will even agree to a lower salary. And work with passion. 


For example, 38-year-old Marina Efimova, a highly qualified accountant with 15 years of experience working in a dealer company, is a staunch vegetarian. And every day goes to the service as a holiday. When she came to get a job, the first question was whether she wears fur clothes. In this company, even genuine leather belts are banned. It is not clear whether this is a profit-oriented firm or an ideological cell. Yes, nothing is written about animals in the Labor Code, Marina admits, but imagine a team of animal rights activists, and fur coats made of natural fur on hangers: “Yes, we would go berserk and eat each other!” 


Alisa Filoni, owner of a small consulting company in Nizhny Novgorod, has recently taken up yoga before work. “I realized that I can cope with stress more easily,” says Alice, “and decided that a little exercise would not hurt my subordinates.” She also discourages employees from smoking (but without much success – employees hide in the toilet) and orders decaffeinated coffee to the office. 


Other managers try to unite employees with some common hobby, most often close to themselves. Vera Anistsyna, head of the UNITI Human Resources Center recruitment group, says that the management of one of the IT companies required candidates to be fond of rafting or orienteering. The argument was something like this: if you are ready to jump with a parachute or conquer Everest, then you will definitely work well. 


“We need bright personalities, not office plankton,” explains Lyudmila Gaidai, HR manager at the Grant Thornton auditing company. “If an employee cannot realize himself outside of work, will he be able to do it within the walls of the office, within the strict framework of the corporate culture?” Gaidai gathered real enthusiasts within the walls of her office. Yulia Orlovskaya, a credit controller in the finance department, is an ice-fisher and has now bought an expensive telescope to study the stars. Another employee has titles in kickboxing and fencing. The third acts in films and sings jazz. The fourth is a professional cook and a lover of yachting trips. And they all have fun together: recently, for example, the leader reports, “a great cultural event was a joint visit to the loudest exhibition of this season – an exhibition of paintings by Pablo Picasso.” 


Psychologists generally support the selection of employees on non-professional grounds. “Among like-minded people, a person feels more comfortable and confident,” says psychologist Maria Egorova. “Less time and effort goes into resolving work conflicts.” In addition, you can save on team building. The problem is that such demands on the part of the employer are essentially discrimination and directly contradict the Labor Code. The so-called ethical requirements for applicants are illegal, explains Irina Berlizova, a lawyer at the Krikunov and Partners law firm. But it is almost impossible to hold accountable for this. Go and prove that the specialist did not get a job because he eats meat or does not like to go to exhibitions. 


According to the Triumph recruiting agency, the most common topic for discussion with a candidate is whether he has a family or not. This is understandable, but two years ago everyone was looking for unmarried and unmarried people, says Irina Krutskikh from Triumph, and now, on the contrary, family ones, because they are responsible and loyal. But the latest trend, says the president of the HeadHunter group of companies Yuri Virovets, is to select employees on religious and national grounds. A large company that sells engineering equipment recently instructed headhunters to look exclusively for Orthodox Christians. The leader explained to the headhunters that it is customary for them to pray before dinner and fast. It will really be difficult for a secular person there.

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