A new study of hiring managers in the technology sector in Canada has revealed their top priorities when evaluating potential hires. Their answers are telling – and can offer insights to candidates across sectors.
The factor that carries the most weight with those employers surveyed was the candidates most current work experience. They want to know what you have been doing professionally, right before applying to work with them. Having recent, relevant experience in the sector makes you valuable to employers.
Further confirming the importance of this is the second factor that hiring managers consider. Their next priority is seeing a candidate’s past projects and successes. This is what you have worked on specifically, and what you were able to accomplish while doing it.
After your recent work history and accomplishments, tech recruiters are concerned about an applicant’s relevant certifications and educational background.
Relevant work experience, accomplishments that show how you stand out in the role. Highlighting these in your resume will impress employers. You can read that report here.
Having studied the science of the job search and the carefully crafted interactions between employers and candidates for two decades now, I can summarize what most hiring managers are seeking in potential hires.
What employers are looking for
When a company is hiring – either for a new role or to replace a departing staff member – they have a problem that needs solving. There is some task that needs accomplishing that will make their business run smoother and be more successful. So, first and foremost, they want a candidate who has the ability to fill the role, to perform those tasks and solve that problem.
They also want a candidate who has the potential to grow within the role. Problems change, technology advances, companies evolve and expand. A successful hire will be able to learn on the job, take on more responsibility as they gain knowledge and experience of the company and industry. This means that a candidate hired to solve current challenges will also tackle future ones. They will stay and advance on the job, and not jump ship and need immediate replacing.
They also look for the candidate who has the right balance of self-management and team-oriented work styles. You need to be able to work independently without someone looking over your shoulder and accomplish what needs doing. You also need to fit in with the company culture and collaborate with team projects as required. This balance is going to vary between roles and companies.
This is among the most important things that employers and candidates need to suss out about each other in the interview process. Very independent workers won’t be happy in an organization that is extremely focussed on teamwork. Similarly, people who thrive in collaborative team environments might find an environment that requires long periods of solo work to be unproductive and lonely.
Most organizations have a balance of the two, and finding candidates best suited to their culture is one of the most important factors for a successful hire.