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How Do Employers Evaluate Potential Employees?

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When you are a member of the workforce, your top priority is finding and keeping a job that suits your lifestyle. Ideally, this position allows you to do what you are passionate about. It should also provide the salary and benefits package that you need to have a decent quality of life. 

Conducting a job search is rarely easy. Even if you have very marketable skills, there are still plenty of other qualified candidates out there that you have to compete with for the attention of employers.

Sometimes, it can be a mystery what companies are looking for. Perhaps their job descriptions are vague or boilerplate, so you don’t know why a company may or may not choose to hire you. Let’s take a look at some ways that employers will evaluate job candidates so that you can optimize your job search strategy.

Psychometric Assessments

Hiring can be a very subjective process. If an employer is trying to choose between two equally qualified candidates, how can they objectively make the right decision? Some companies will turn to psychometric assessments to categorize applicants in a new way. These tests are used to determine how well a candidate’s skills and personality match with the specific job they are applying to. There are many kinds of psychometric assessments out there that employers may use to analyze candidates, including personality evaluations and aptitude exams. Often, these tests are given out to promising candidates after the application phase. 

Hard and Soft Skills

Skills are one of the main factors by which employers assess the talent pool. Who has the experience or knowledge needed to fulfill the responsibilities of a particular role? There are two types of skills that recruiters and hiring managers will look for. Hard skills are easily quantifiable, yes or no type talents. These may include proficiency with specific tools like Google Drive, Canva, Microsoft Office, and more. It could also include certifications. This is where you can impress employers with your pursuit of education, such as being certified by nationally accredited BLS classes if you are interested in healthcare careers. Soft skills are less straightforward. They include traits like strong leadership, collaboration, adaptability, and other personality characteristics. 

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Professional Experience

Another major factor for job applicants is their level of experience in the industry. Outside of entry-level positions, which sometimes require some real-world experience as well, most positions are seeking candidates who have a history that is relevant to the job. However, employers are not always married to the experience requirement in the job description. Maybe the position is seeking someone with 5-7 years of previous work at a specific agency, but you only have three and a half. Don’t let this stop you from applying. Sometimes, the right candidate will stand out and make hiring managers overlook some of their initial requirements for the perfect fit. For the most part, though, you should look for jobs that align with your professional experience to this point. 

A Proactive Nature

Proactive candidates draw far more attention than passive candidates. If you simply send in your resume and application and then wait for a response from the employer, this shows little initiative. Being a proactive candidate means following up with the employer within a week or two of applying. This will demonstrate your interest in the position and show the employer that you care about this application. Plus, it can help establish a more personal connection with the hiring manager. Every point of contact can help them remember you, which is crucial if the position you want has a large applicant pool. 

Professionalism in Interviews

The interview is often the first culmination of the hiring process. It is a crucial step that is reserved for candidates that the employer is considering. It can often seal the deal for a job offer or help an employer decide that a candidate is not fit for the position. The key to preparing for an interview is to be professional. This means knowing the job description, studying the company as a whole, and having well-thought-out answers to common interview questions. Also, dress professionally for the interview, even if it is a video conference from a remote location. Make sure your hair and/or makeup are appropriate for a business setting, and clean up the background for a video call. 

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Set Yourself Up to Stand Out

Knowing what employers are looking at when evaluating candidates can help job-seekers highlight their most important traits and experiences. Though psychometric assessments can be objective methods of categorizing candidates, other factors like professional experience and skills are a little more subjective. You can highlight various aspects of your professional experience to align with the desired position. Additionally, being an assertive candidate who behaves professionally could be a differentiator as well. Use the information above to become a more appealing candidate when applying for jobs.

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