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What Hiring Managers Value Most in Candidates Today

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If you're a hiring manager today, you have your work cut out for you. According to our recently released research into the current job market, hiring managers admit that competition for talent is more intense this year than last and that it's getting harder to get top choice candidates to accept offers. What remains the same are the areas of talent in highest demand: Marketing/Digital Marketing, Sales, and Creative, and what hiring managers say they value most in candidates:

Culture, culture, culture

When polled, hiring managers far and away chose culture fit as the most crucial attribute when evaluating candidates. When talent clicks, they stick. Our research over the years has shown that employees who feel like they are a culture match are more engaged and productive at work. There have also been correlations to overall workplace happiness and job satisfaction. Culturally-matched employees are less likely to be tempted by other job opportunities and tend to be employment brand ambassadors to friends, family, and professional colleagues.

Functional skills FTW

Second on the list of what hiring managers say is most important is functional skills. When we asked our recruiters what hard skills are on the hot list, functional expertise aligned with the most in-demand job areas. Companies are looking for experts in data mining & analytics, SEO, content development, AI, UX/UI, marketing project management, mobile & app development, graphic & digital design, and social media management & engagement. Candidates with these coveted skills are not only hard to find but if they are 'in-play', they are often considering multiple job offers. Companies must be prepared with their most lucrative employment proposition to win them over.

Soft skills matter too

Coming in third, but very close behind second place, is soft skills. Hiring managers seek problem solvers and critical thinkers. They want self-starters who are lifelong learners – flexible enough to pivot and roll with the punches in a business environment that moves at breakneck speed and technology advancements that happen even faster. Candidates that have demonstrable consensus-building, collaboration, and well-developed communication skills have the edge. Well-developed soft skills contribute to a frictionless, productive, happy, and healthy workplace.Interestingly, years of experience and education level ranked lowest on the poll of candidate attributes hiring managers value most. In today's hiring market, our findings show that proven professionals that bring the know-how to get things done are the ones companies want the most.For more insights from 24 Seven’s 2020 Job Market Report, click here.