Experience isn’t everything – What HR looks for in an applicant
“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” – Heraclitus. The process of hiring an applicant can at times be long and dreary, as Hiring Managers have several different components which they have to weigh. What was the duration of their last position? What type of experience do they obtain and does it match their LinkedIn page? Why are they leaving their current position? How well will they work in our team environment? Is this cover letter more generic or more personable? All questions, which needs answers!
As a Hiring Manager you do not want to rush the hiring process but you do want to hire the right fit for the team and position. Hiring the wrong talent can cost in the long run, as employees have to pick up where the new hire left off. Onboarding and training is crucial, but so are the right skills and work ethic. But experience isn’t everything; a candidate has to sing a different tune. So, we all want to know what HR looks for other than a person’s experience during the applicant hiring process, – really how did they get this position? Here are the top eight things HR experts look for when trying to fill a position, stated in a recent article in Forbes.
- Answers to position-specific questions – it’s all about how the applicant answers pre-screening questions. It should seem like you as the candidate wants this position and simply not going through the motions.
- Ability to communicate – in the age of technology, there are several different ways to communicate, via email, text, Slack, GroupMe, etc. Communication, rather verbal or written can set a candidate apart from the normal applicant as it implies how well the candidate connects with and motivates others.
- Fit for the company’s culture – Skills can be attained with time or through training development but cultural fit must exist at the core.
- Attention to the Details – analyze how the applicant answers questions, does the information provided relate to the position applied for, are there any grammatical errors, did they follow procedures? All things to hon in on while selecting top talent.
- A sign of intellectual curiosity – at time curiosity kills the cat but intellectual curiosity rarely fails. Harnessing curiosity exhibits determination and persistence.
- Impact they had a previous job – an application is not the tell all of an applicant but if you have to rely on solely the application, focus on how much of an impact they made in their last position.
- Signs of a candidate’s ability to learn and grow – this goes back to pre-screening questions, hiring managers should key in on the applicants responses and how unique they are.
- Overuse of personal references – “flag on the play,” did this applicant use only personal references versus the desired professional references? Providing a list of professional references displays maturity in your past and present work life.