The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned

Wow! Asking what the most important thing I learned in this class is a loaded question. There were so many valuable aspects of the material from this class that it is difficult to choose just one. I felt as though much of what I learned is beneficial to keep in mind as I move forward and start my career. 

However, since I have to choose just one thing, I think it would be the idea of the “A Method” from the book because I have hopes of working in HR one day. One idea that has stuck with me since the beginning of this term is that it is crucial to focus on making the who decisions, not the what ones. This allows for the best hiring decisions to be made. Not knowing this information, I easily would go for the what decisions if I were in HR.

While knowing a scorecard of some sort is a necessary component when hiring, I appreciated that the book provided pointers about what should be included; the job’s mission, outcomes, and competencies. It left me with no uncertainty about how to create a useful scorecard. As for the source portion of the “A Method”, I didn’t know what the best ways of generating candidates were until reading about them. While it does take a lot of effort to do so, there are certainly some ways that are more effective than others. Who would have known that referrals from your personal and professional networks are the number one method! I sure didn’t. 

The select, or interview, part of the “A Method” was also all new to me. None of the companies I have worked for, or interviewed with, have ever had as an extensive, in-depth interview process as the one discussed. This method is proven, however, and one that I know will be important to carry with me moving forward. Given the four different interviews – screening, who, focused, and reference – it seems like a lot of work and very time consuming, but I know the end result/outcome will pay off by giving me the best A player candidate(s). Lastly, but certainly just as important, is the selling portion of the process. The biggest idea I took away from this part of the book is how important it is to put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. The more you understand them and care about what they care about, the better you will be at tailoring to their needs and winning them over.



What am I good at?

I am very good at being organized and regularly evaluating what needs to be done. I am task-oriented and thus am easily satisfied by getting things done. Communication is incredibly important to me. I believe it is necessary at all times. I demonstrate strong people skills by actively listening, having empathy, and working towards a common goal.

What do I value?

I value helping others reach their goals. It satisfies me to see someone accomplish something they have been striving for. I enjoy showing my appreciation by giving back to local communities. I believe honesty and loyalty are a must. I find it difficult to get along with people who lack these values.

How did I get here?

I got to where I am today through my hard work and dedication. Sure, I have had my fair share of detours along the way, but persistence is what has got me through.  I am very determined to reach my goals and hope to continue to be this way. The comeback is always greater than the setback.

Where am I going?

As I finish up my degrees these next few months, I am continuously looking for employment and the opportunities that are currently out there. I hope to have a full-time job in the financial sector lined up before I finish school so I can go straight into the workforce. I also want to see what my options are for going to grad school. I am thinking about it but haven’t decided if I’ll actually do it. I wonder if the company I do end up working for will support my decision to go back to school (i.e. pay for it or be flexible schedule-wise) and if so, how to go about that.


IPIP Results & Reactions

The results of my International Personality Item Pool (IPIP) test were rather surprising. I have taken a similar test before on the big five personality traits, but I don’t recall my results being the same. It was eye-opening on certain aspects, but also reassuring with others. I scored high in extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, while scoring very low in openness to experience. As for neuroticism, my results stated that I scored average, indicating that my level of emotional reactivity is typical of the general population. My scores for each category were as followed:

Extraversion – 73

Agreeableness – 68

Conscientiousness – 97

Neuroticism – 62

Openness to Experience – 1

With these results, it can be said that I am an outgoing and personable individual who is sympathetic towards others. I have a strong interest in their needs and well-being. However, I personally don’t express my emotions openly. I am very determined and hardworking, which means others can rely on me to get things done. I most certainly don’t like change. I get anxious due to stressful or frustrating situations, but I can cope with this rather quickly.

A future employer looking at my results would say some of my strengths are being dependable, caring, and a team player. I am a people person who can get along with nearly anyone. I don’t mind speaking out and taking charge in a group setting, but I strongly believe in cooperation. An employer knows they could count on me to talk to whomever I cross paths with, given my outgoing personality. I care about those around me and would do almost anything to help others out. I thrive off of getting things done, meaning I am self-disciplined and orderly with my work. An employer would never have to worry about me not getting work done. 

As for weaknesses, an employer might say I don’t like uncertainty and that I am very plain and simple. It could also be mentioned that I often don’t think abstractly or outside the box. This is not my strong suit. I lack creativity and the willingness to complete tasks outside my normal duties. While this could affect my work, it could also impact those around me. Good or bad, an employer would know what they are getting when they hire me based on the results from this test.


Typical vs. Maximal Performance

If I were in the shoes of a business owner and I had to choose between hiring Avery, one who has a high-performance ceiling, or Jaime, who is known for consistency, I would choose Jaime. I value hard work and those who show up daily to do their best. I want to work with someone who would be consistent day in and day out. Reliability is key. Personally, I get easily frustrated with individuals who I know are capable of a lot, but rarely, if ever, exert their potential. You never know which version of this type of person you are going to get on a given day, so there is much uncertainty.

A job where it would be more valuable to hire Avery over Jaime would be a paramedic. In this position, most of the time, high performance is only required every now and then (i.e. when a patient is present), not all the time. Avery is highly capable, but because of his/her “can do” measure of performance, might not always display their abilities. As long as Avery is ready to perform at full potential when the time comes, that is all that matters.

On the other hand, a job where Jaime would be better to hire than Avery would be one such as an office job. For the most part, these jobs require the same effort of work daily. Being the type of individual that Jaime is, it is likely they are easily motivated by oneself. Further, consistency from an employee here is very important, hence why Jaime would be the better choice.


Critiquing a Recruitment Ad

My Brand: As a potential employee, my hope is to create a strong and lasting first impression. I am who ensures I introduce myself to everyone in the room with a firm handshake and eye contact. Nothing bothers me more than when people give lousy handshakes or don’t introduce themselves. Some of my strengths include having an eagerness to learn, a strong work ethic, being organized, task-driven, and detail-oriented. These can be conveyed through my past job experiences as well as my current educational accomplishments. Some of my weaknesses, however, include being a perfectionist and over-thinking/analyzing simple things. I am unique in that none of my past work is in the same field. I have a variety of experiences so I can quickly adapt to different situations with my many skills and abilities.

Situation Wanted Ad: My name is Delani West and I am a senior at Oregon State University (OSU) finishing up my studies in management and finance. I am looking for an internship or full-time employment opportunity in an HR position. There is my third (and final) year at OSU. I have successfully completed several classes in both management and finance, but would like to focus on HR because it’s intriguing to me and I believe both focuses of mine can be applied here. My last job was a management internship that allowed me to learn how I can apply myself as a leader. I currently work as a tutor/TA for the statistics department, where I spend much of my time assisting students with their homework and projects. This proves to be a great leadership position, as I am constantly adjusting and adapting to new situations. I am always looking for ways to build and improve myself, but I am just as concerned, if not more, about bettering the people and company around me. I am confident that my past work experiences combined with my current education have prepared me for a role in HR. I am eager for an opportunity to apply my knowledge and skills, while also learning along the way. If interested, you can reach me at to further discuss. I look forward to hearing from you.


The Influence of a Job Description

The last job I had was kind of a shot in the dark. I was a store management intern at Kohl’s. This past summer, I spent countless hours looking for internship opportunities. I applied to ones I was very excited about based on the job descriptions and others that weren’t my number one choice, but nonetheless, would still provide me with experience. I needed a job, even if it wasn’t ideal. I had been eyeing the position at Kohl’s for quite some time, but knew it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, so I put off applying for it. I had no history of working in the field and didn’t think it was well suited for me, but either way I told myself it would serve as an opportunity of growth and experience if need be. I eventually applied and went through the interview process, so when the option presented itself, I took the job. I ended up enjoying the position much more than I ever thought I would. I also learned a lot.

Although I don’t have the job description at hand, I do remember how vague and ambiguous it was. This was slightly concerning to me, but also gave me a sense of hope in that maybe it was flexible based on the individual(s) hired. Some parts of the job description were intriguing to me, but others I was very hesitant about. For example, I was excited to learn about what makes a store function, but was nervous about leading and being in charge of a group of individuals, most of whom were much older than me. I quickly learned on day one that there was much more to the position than what was stated in the brief job description.


Discrimination in My Favorite Company

If I came across a news article that stated my favorite company was being faced with a public lawsuit because they were accused of widespread discrimination against individuals from the same ethnicity, culture, or belief system I associate with, no doubt would it change how I felt about the company. I do not tolerate discrimination of any sort. I don’t care if it’s discrimination against people or a group I don’t normally associate with, I would not be okay with it. Of course, I’d conduct further research to ensure the article was not falsely reported, as I have always trusted this company, but it would be hurtful to know that a company I support and appreciate very much would be partaking in this kind of behavior.

It would be very difficult to continue to support a company that is doing something against my ethical values and beliefs. I know I would have instant guilt for unknowingly contributing to this terrible act in the past and wouldn’t want to associate myself in any way, shape, or form moving forward. It’s almost like this company betrayed itself, it’s employees, and it’s customers. Who would want to work for or be a part of a company that can’t hold themselves to a high standard? I know I wouldn’t.

Company culture is very important to me. I want to work for a company that aligns with my personal values. Clearly, this company, who I thought once did, no longer does. How does one defend a company that goes against people’s morals? It would be difficult. This article would allow me to realize that it’s time to move on and take my interests elsewhere. I could only hope others would do the same. 


Counterpoint Argument

Argument: Recruitment and selection is a company’s most important function.

Counterargument: A company’s most important function is to create as much value as possible for a customer.

While recruiting and selection is an essential part of any business, I don’t believe it should the number one concern for an established organization. To have a successful company, you must first have customers willing to stimulate your business. Without paying customers, a company would be non-existent. Further, if there is little to no business, then employees are not needed.

Organizations may decide to allocate more resources to their marketing or product design rather than employee selection and recruitment because the results are often tangible and more readily available. It is very time-consuming and costly for a company to use all its resources on employee selection and recruitment. Rather than spending this money externally, companies can focus on promoting within and building upon what they already have, while still have resources left over.

More so, a company should not spend all of its time and/or resources on the recruiting and selecting process because they would lose sight of the overall goal; to create and add value to customers. By focusing on customers, a company is able to strengthen its core purpose. However, a downside of not focusing solely on recruitment and selection could result in a hefty cost if the right person is not hired. A company must find a balance between allocating time and resources to this process, while also keeping in mind customers.


Job Application Experience(s)

Being one who was seeking an internship this past summer, I spent countless hours applying for jobs and preparing for interviews. I interacted with a handful of companies during the process, all of which were very different from one another. The interview processes themselves were very unique to each company.

A few interviews I had were very unorganized. I found myself disappointed when an interview I hopeful for was so poorly structured, as I believe the hiring process is a reflection of the company. I was really interested in working for a specific company, but the interview was a big let down. If an interview can’t manage to be somewhat organized, this makes me question how (un)organized the overall company may be.

Another interview I had was very professional, which was reassuring, but also made me nervous. I knew I had to be on my A-game the second I stepped into the office. The interview went much longer than I planned but I left feeling great about how it went. I knew exactly what the position entailed and what would be expected of me on a daily basis. I felt like I was a good fit for the company from all that I had learned. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the job, but the interview process served as great practice for my career development.

A few of the interviews I took more time to prepare for, while others I briefly touched on the vague details previously given to me. Some of the companies gave me strict guidelines on what to prepare for the interview(s). I appreciated this because I am the type of person who prefers a set of instructions with little ambiguity. Other companies said little to nothing about what to expect for the interview, which are the ones I took the most time to prepare for. Although this didn’t directly impact my thoughts on the company itself and working for it, I do think it was an important part of my job application process.

Overall, I am grateful for the various job application process I encountered last summer. While some were better than others, they all gave me an experience I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I was able to grow and sharpen my interview skills, which we know is always beneficial.


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