The Survey Says: Hiring Manager Takeaways

ThinkstockPhotos-480456530The improving economy means candidates have more control of their professional destiny; however, it also means that hiring managers face even more pressure to find the right person for a job. In an already rapidly changing hiring environment, company recruiters and hiring managers are feeling the heat, constantly competing to identify and lock down top talent. To better understand the latest trends and best practices in selecting candidates, and give some insight into this fast-paced industry, Addison Group conducted a survey examining hiring managers’ preferences when evaluating a job seeker.

Key findings and statistics from the survey include:

  • Only 18 percent of hiring managers viewed covers letters and “thank you” notes as important, making it clear these types of items are no longer an essential part of the process.
  • Millennials are making social media a legitimate recruiting tool. Across all generations, LinkedIn is the most trusted social media platform for candidate sourcing, used by 44 percent of managers. However, many millennial hiring managers use Facebook and Twitter as a recruiting tool, at 45 and 28 percent respectively, a trend that is expected to rise.
  • Not surprisingly, the interview is seen as the most important piece when evaluating a candidate; 74 percent of hiring managers listed the interview as the deciding factor when hiring a candidate.
  • Hiring managers do not want to see buzzwords in the resume. The most despised buzzwords on the resume, according to hiring managers, include “expert,” at 47 percent; “synergistic,” at 40 percent; and “innovative,” 31 percent.
  • Hiring managers place high value on ”intangibles” like interpersonal skills and overall demeanor, with 41 percent of hiring managers ranking soft skills as important.

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So, what exactly do the survey findings mean for hiring managers? To start, here are three key takeaways from these findings:

The hiring process is becoming more streamlined. Cover letters and “thank you” notes are becoming less important in evaluating the quality of a candidate. The growing unpopularity of these items is just one indication that hiring managers are prioritizing efficiency in the hiring process. Credentials, accomplishments and professional references are key to differentiating candidates and providing hiring managers with a strong sense of whether or not a candidate’s skills fit the role. Additionally, companies are embracing technology more than ever to further streamline the hiring process. Video interviews offer a convenient and accessible means of additional screening, and the rise of social media as recruiting tool points to the trend of sourcing talented candidates more quickly.

It’s time to adapt to the digital trends pervading the workplace. Sourcing candidates through nontraditional forms like social media will only increase as the workforce becomes more populated with “digital natives.” The wealth of information available on the Internet enables hiring managers to research candidates well before inviting them for an interview.  Additionally, technology will continue to phase out common practices. For example, while something like mailing your resume to a company recruiter already is seen as archaic, soon enough emailing your resume will be similarly outdated as technology that allows resumes to live publicly online become increasingly mainstream.  These tools also ensure candidate information is easily accessible and remains consistently up-to-date and accurate.

In the end, the interview is still the most important, so make the most of it. It’s no surprise the interview still ranks as the most useful interaction to learn about a candidate. Interviews allow the hiring manager to uncover red flags in the resume, like buzzwords and heavily padded accomplishments. It also ensures hiring managers an opportunity to get perspective on a candidate beyond their carefully curated personal and professional information featured in their resume and social media profiles. Ultimately, the interview lets the hiring manager get an authentic view of the candidate to identify whether or not they fit the company culture and position.

Overall, it’s essential for hiring managers to stay on top of the changing recruiting trends to ensure candidates are recruited efficiently and evaluated carefully and quickly. As technology enables new recruiting tools and a generational shift among recruiters and job seekers is further cemented with each passing year, hiring managers will need to take charge in understanding how to stay competitive in finding the right candidate for the job.

MORE: A hiring manager’s journey

Steve Wolfe

Steve Wolfe
Steve Wolfe is EVP of operations and administration at Addison Group.

Steve Wolfe

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