Likes Attract, But Humor Will Get You the Job

Today’s Roundup is about attraction. Both kinds.

What do you mean, “What do you mean both kinds?”? (Grammar police are investigating that questionable mark usage.) This is about recruiting, so the first kind is that between hiring manager and Ms. or Mr. Mostly Perfect Candidate.

What is it that led the hiring manager to offer the job to X instead of Y, both of whom have the requisite skills, experience, ability, and talent?

X has a better sense of humor than you.

Oh yeah, you the workaholic. That serious, all business, all-the-time demeanor got you dinged. Turns out, says CareerBuilder, that for 27 percent of managers, a sense of humor can be what a hiring decision turns on. In a statistical dead heat, 26 percent say it’s the community involvement of the candidate. (Between you and me, that’s just one of those politically correct responses. Think of the fallout of hiring a AYSO coach who cuts the boss’ kid from the team.)

Twenty-two percent of managers hire the better dressed of the two; 21 percent hire those they have more in common with. (A demonstrably honest response since the I/O psychologists and academics say we all tend to want to hire people like ourselves.)

And then we get to the 13 percent who would give the job to the more physically fit of the candidates, a result that plays right into the second kind of attraction:

The Office Romance

Before I give you the four rules, who would be the least likely person to give you advice about romance? OK, besides Hollywood stars. How about a lawyer?

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These come from Sonya Madison, a workplace attorney. Since lawyers are trained to be cautious and avoid risk — except for those in torts and criminal law — these are mostly about what you shouldn’t do:

  1. Don’t use the company email system to send little love notes.
  2. No PDA (Public Display of Affection. If you thought it meant personal digital assistant, you are a Baby Boomer.)
  3. Know the company policy, which was probably written with the help of a lawyer so see #1 and #2.
  4. Take it slow. Go out in groups. (Just like back in college!)

Jim and Pam took this advice, and it took them what, six years to get married. If your romantic horizon is more immediate, or you’re in sales, roundup offers you this video to guide your office romance.

The grammar police have completed the investigation and have concluded that the use of two question marks is something even a fifth grader knows to be wrong.

Wait for it….

I am not smarter than a fifth grader.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


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