Do employers hire employees because of a hobby?
Not in all cases. Employers look for specific competencies that they try to present in job descriptions. There is no point in looking for information that the company is looking for a candidate with interests in a given field. In job descriptions, the emphasis is usually on: experienced in data or similar positions or in a given or similar sector (services/production/trade – often also the type of business, e.g. FMCG, automotive, electronics, financial services, e-commerce, etc.) and competencies needed, according to the writer, to perform a given job.
So when to write:
- If it has a very strong relationship with the product/service offered by a given company/organization. For example, if you are interested in literature – if you like a given genre, form, know a lot about it, belong to book discussion clubs, write reviews as a hobby, and apply to a publishing house, bookstore, portal related to literature, etc., then it is definitely worth entering such interest in the CV.
- If you are just entering the job market, you do not have professional achievements yet, but you have great achievements related to your interests.
- You have little professional experience in a given industry, but your hobby is closely related to the industry and you have achievements in the field of interests that you can boast of.
Documenting interests, presenting achievements
In the era of the development of various types of web portals, we can perfectly display our hobby and it is worth adding a link to the information about it if it meets the conditions described above, under which the employer can find some permanent traces confirming our sincere interest in the topic.
- if you are interested in photography, you can add a link to your Instagram or Flickr account
- it is worth providing a link to your blog (or the newsgroup you run) if you write about your interests (e.g. travel, cooking, books, sports, games, finance, economy, history, etc.),
- if you are a seasoned player (strategy / logical games), you can add a link to statistics or rankings confirming your high position,
- if you participate in contests related to your interests and receive prizes.
I recommend creating a professional profile on Goldenline and adding a link to your account in our CV. We can add our hobbies on the website – I suggest using this option if our interests can actually be helpful in our career path. I warn you against creating your own interests by force – if we do not have any, then let’s skip this topic, the more that they do not constitute the basis for assessing our competencies.
Draw far-reaching conclusions based on your interests
In many articles about interests in a CV, I regretted that there is often information that we can infer a candidate’s personality traits from a hobby. Based on this information, it turns out that my person would be perceived as a bore (due to her interest in books and art) and an individualist with a lack of team spirit (due to a preference for individual sports, not team sports) *. Bored, a relative concept, I do not argue. I was interested in drawing far-reaching conclusions based on my preference for individual sports, with which I completely disagree. I work with people on a daily basis, also in terms of design, one of my natural talents according to Gallup’s research (Strengths Finder) is communication, according to the Extended Disc competency test, I am an “arbiter – a person who cares about the good spirit of the team”, so I believe that he will draw far-reaching conclusions may completely be wrong.
In other studies, I find the information that “a hobby is the proof that a person can get very involved in some activity, that he is striving for a goal, that he has a passion (and this is a very big advantage), that he has some achievements in his favorite field “. Personally, I think that just because someone has an interest, it doesn’t mean they are striving for a goal and they don’t always have to have some achievements in this area. On the other hand, even if that person has some achievements in terms of their interests, it does not automatically mean that they will be with the same “passion” for their goals at work.
So I warn headhunters and recruiters against quickly drawing wrong conclusions. People may have the same interest, but for completely different reasons. I hardly ask about hobbies myself. The candidates I recruit rarely list them in their CVs, and I don’t judge people in this respect, but in terms of the competencies my client is looking for.
There are “urban legends” about how the CEO, during an interview, instead of conducting a decent interview, focused solely on the candidate’s hobby that coincided with his own, and this candidate received a job offer. What’s next for the candidate? Did it work in the new position? We don’t know that. We also don’t know if the whole story was true. In addition, does it speak well for the president? We employ people who are similar to us and whom we like – but then we have a guarantee that these people will do their job well?
So far, in my over 13-year career as a headhunter and coach, I have not encountered a situation in which a candidate was hired solely for their interests (perhaps it was a nice addition, but it was not a key factor). I also haven’t found any studies that clearly confirm the influence of personality traits on interests.
We don’t employ people because they are interesting and because they stand out (which is often emphasized in the tutorial articles from the “Have an interesting hobby, stand out from the crowd” series). We hire them because they are good at what they do – because they have the competencies we expect and because they are motivated to take up the offered position. Everything else is a nice addition. If your interests can somehow confirm one of the above (e.g. interest in a product/service offered by the company, manifesting itself in some way in your hobby, which in some way emphasizes your competences, which are important for the employer, e.g. analytical skills), then you can include them in your CV.