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What hiring managers are really looking for in a candidate (survey)

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Job searching is hard. If only you knew exactly what the hiring manager was looking for, right?

Well, we’ve got some inside information. Glassdoor has just released the results of a survey revealing the challenges employers face when it comes to finding someone to hire. And knowing what the challenges are makes it that much easier for you to be the solution – for you to be the person who makes the interviewer hear a symphony, stand up, and say “Yes! I’ve found exactly what I need.”

According to the survey results, 76% of “hiring decision makers” say attracting quality candidates is their No.1 challenge. Other top challenges include budget constraints, trouble competing in terms of compensation and benefits packages, and knowing where to advertise jobs to attract the right people.

The survey also covers the questions of what qualifies as quality, or what employers are looking for in a hire.

According to the survey of 750 decision makers at companies of all sizes across the U.S. and U.K., nine out of 10 (88%) said that an “informed candidate” is a quality candidate.

“Because they know more and self-select for the positions that are right for them, informed candidates make the hiring process a lot easier.”

  • Fortunately, the report also breaks down what it means to be an “informed candidate.”  The hiring decision makers said that an informed candidate is:
  • Prepared for their interview and asks pertinent questions
  • More likely to demonstrate the right experience
  • Knowledgeable about the job role
  • Knowledgeable about the organization’s culture and values
  • Prepared so that they have the right expectations about compensation and benefits

This is good news, due to the fact that it is so easy to be that person. Why?  Because almost nobody arrives at the interview properly prepared.

To be the informed candidate, and as a result, a quality candidate – something that nine out of 10 hiring manager says is difficult to find (for those playing along at home), all you have to do is research the role and company, and prep for the interview.

This means:

  • Researching the company’s products and services, knowing what they do, where, and – as much as possible – how they operate.
  • Researching the role for which you’re applying. Know what the role entails and what skills are required to fill it – then you can demonstrate that you possess those skills. If you don’t know what skills are required, you can easily miss the opportunity to highlight something about your experience and skill set that would be a selling point. Don’t assume all this information is in the job posting. Dig deeper.
  • Researching the company culture, finding out what the mission and values are, who works there, and what is important to them.
  • Finding out what office life is like and what the people are like, and demonstrating that you would fit in. Cultural “fit” is a big deal for employers.
  • Researching market rates for your role and reasonable expectations for benefits – as well as how well the company is doing, if you’re able to find that sort of thing out. This will help you with the last point: having “the right expectations about compensation and benefits.”

It is that easy. Do these things and you will stand head and shoulders above your competition. You’d be amazed at how many people show up for the interview with no idea what the company even does. Don’t be that person, and it will make a huge difference, both for you and for the hiring manager.

Because you know what? They want to hire you. All any hiring manager wants to do is find the person who can do the job, and make their own life easier, as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Be that person. They get the employee they need, you get the job you want.

Everyone is happy.

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