What are Hiring Managers Looking For?

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Tapping inside of the mind of a hiring manager is no easy task. Often, qualified candidates are dismissed because they do not meet the hiring manager’s expectations which leaves many candidates wondering- what exactly are hiring managers expecting?

Trying to pinpoint an exact skill-set would be impossible. But job seekers do not have to be left completely in the dark. There are many characteristics hiring managers look for specifically when trying to fill a role. Some of these characteristics include qualification, cultural fit and flexibility.

In general terms, hiring managers look to see if the applicant is qualified for the role based on the preferred qualifications. When looking at the job description, a candidate’s technical experience and interpersonal skills should address 75% or more of the job duties and requirements, with room to grow and tackle new challenges. An applicant who has experience in 100% of the job requirements is often not ideal. A hiring manager would be concerned that at 100% experience level, the employee would quickly get bored of their job and look for a more challenging position right away.

Next, hiring managers are looking for a qualified candidate that can fit into the culture of the team and company. Teamwork is vital in the working environments, therefore it is crucial for a manager to get this right. Many hiring managers have personal experience with a great new hire who quickly crashed and burned because they clashed with the team or did not fit into the culture of the company.

Lastly, hiring managers are looking for candidates who are flexible. It is a known fact, not every task and responsibility is listed on the job description. Hiring managers are looking for candidates who are flexible to complete tasks and activities as needed. From covering for a colleague unexpectedly out of the office, to learning a new skill because of a change in project scope, hiring managers need someone they can depend on for future changes, and flexibility is key.

While no one has a crystal ball, identifying what types of characteristics hiring managers are looking for is not as hard as one may think. Qualified candidates who are a great fit with the team and organization, and that demonstrate their flexibly will find space in nearly every organization. Candidates should take their job-search strategy further and research the companies, positions and teams they could be working with to ensure the right match.

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