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What are Hiring Managers Really Looking For? Consider the Following Qualities


When it comes to finding the right candidate for an open position, hiring managers often discuss what type of skills and experience they’re looking for. What’s less frequently mentioned but equally important, however, are the qualities an ideal candidate will possess. Qualities are intangible and thus can’t be reflected on a resume, but possessing– or lacking– certain qualities can make or break a candidate. Consider the top eight qualities hiring managers look for:

Resiliency. No one is going to have a perfect track record; everyone fails from time to time. What hiring managers are looking for, then, are the candidates who don’t let setbacks define them. Instead, these candidates view hurdles as learning opportunities, not insurmountable roadblocks.

A decision-maker. Most hiring managers view decisiveness as an extremely valuable characteristic for future employees. When presented with a difficult decision, hiring managers want employees who can weigh the pros and cons of each potential course of action and then confidently make a judgment call.

The right attitude. If a candidate has all of the right skills and experience for an open position but lacks the right attitude, most hiring managers will consider that a deal-breaker. Every organization has their own unique company culture; the culture encompasses the values and beliefs that define the business. Ensuring that candidates are the right cultural fit for the organization, then, is key to successful hiring and long-term retention.

Adaptable. Change is an inevitable part of life and that is also true of any organization. While most people take comfort in familiarity, hiring managers want to know that potential employees are adaptable to change. Businesses are always evolving to stay competitive and the best employees evolve right along with them. Candidates who are resistant to change or seem “stuck in their ways” are not likely to score a second interview.

Team-player. While some positions call for candidates to interact more extensively with teammates than other positions, most hiring managers will agree that being a team-player is an essential quality for candidates to possess. While hiring managers also recognize the value of independent thinking, they ultimately want to hire candidates who help boost the morale of their fellow employees through mutual respect and cooperation.

Integrity. Perhaps the most important quality that hiring managers seek in potential candidates is integrity. Without honest employees comprising an organization, there’s little chance of long-term success. Thus, hiring managers look for candidates with high integrity– those who will always put the company’s best interest ahead of personal gain.

Passion. The best employees are those who truly love their jobs. Whether the role they’re interviewing for is a back office accounting job or a high-profile marketing job, candidates who demonstrate passion for the position are highly desirable. Not only are passionate employees typically more productive than their counterparts who are just getting by, but they also elicit a certain level of passion in their co-workers– and the result is often a boost in employee morale overall.

Loyalty. Sure, hiring managers want employees who are ambitious and always looking to better themselves both personally and professionally. But they also want employees who are there for the long haul, not someone who’s going to jump ship when the next best thing comes along. Simply put: hiring managers want loyal candidates who want to grow with the company, not job-hoppers who always have one foot out the door.

If you’re looking for an accounting, financial, or administrative position in the San Diego area, contact us today. We are a boutique staffing firm and would welcome the opportunity to help you find the right opportunity for your unique skills and experience.