Thursday, September 5, 2013

Getting Employed - What Employers Are Looking For In Hiring New Employees

Getting Employed - What Employers

Are Looking For In Hiring New Employees

From the time our kids are in middle school, we as parents, school officials, and federal government are telling our kids that the only way to climb the ladder of success and get a good paying job, is to get a college degree.  A college degree is becoming the new high school diploma.  Many (but not all) employers across the country will only hire people with a bachelor’s degree, even if the job doesn't require college-level skills. 

Students and their parents are accumulated trillions of dollars in debt in order to get a college degree and colleges continue raising the cost of obtaining an advanced degree due partly to the easy accessibility of financial aid (mostly loans).

Most parents and students feel, attending college will open the doors to employment and attending college will teach the student the needed skills to perform the duties that employers are looking for. 

However, many students that obtain a college degree have never held a full time job, let alone know what employers are looking for in a new hire.  Many students (even as young as students in middle school) are not being told how to get employment and what employers are looking for in a potential new employee, (with or without a college degree).  

High school and college students are not being told how to actively pursue job opportunities and what it takes to get employed.  Many students feel by obtaining a college degree is a guarantee of employment.  However, obtaining a college degree is NOT a guarantee of employment.  Getting employed is more than just having a degree. 

As I have mentioned earlier, many employers are requiring a college degree before they hire and individual.  However, a new paper from Paul Beaudry, David Green, and Benjamin Sand find, “Skilled workers with higher degrees are increasingly ending up in lower-skilled jobs that don't really require a degree--and in the process, they're pushing unskilled workers out of the labor force altogether.” 

Due to the present economy conditions, it’s a buyer’s market for employers.

Middle and high school students, (let alone college grads) need to understand why getting some form of advanced education after high school is very important to employers. The skills and techniques in this e-book can be learned in middle, high school and college.

So What Do Employers Look For Before Hiring An Employee?

Let’s look at several key things most employers are looking for during the interview process before they hire an employee.  Below are a several important factors for job hunters, regardless of the educational level of the individual: 

  • First and foremost, employers are look for a track record of success (experience) in the skills that the position requires.  In other words, do you have the experience and skills to do the job duties?  Employers are looking for concrete evidence in the potential employee’s past that shows they can do the job.  Now this does not mean that you have done the particular job, but it does mean that you need to have the skills to perform the job duties, with or without a college degree.
  • Employers are looking for employees who care about their company and the work that is to be done.  It's not enough to just show up at work every day and just do the minimum required. Employers are looking for candidates who care about helping the company meet its overall goals and help increase the company’s bottom line.   
  • Employers are looking for potential employees who will be excited to come to work and not just look at the position as just another job.
  • Employers are looking for individuals that have a positive and productive attitude.  Many of my business contact told me they don’t care how skilled you are; they will not hire employees that portray rudeness, overly sensitive, cocky, or shows a negative attitude.
  • Employers are looking for a long term commitment from the potential new hire. Most employers want to hire people who will stick around for a solid block of time (usually at least two years, and more for senior-level positions). They also want to hire people who will be happy with the job, because unhappy people tend to be less productive and a drain on other employees' morale.
  • Employers want potential employees to be comfortable or be able to adapt in the work environment.  Every job has downsides.  It could be due to a demanding boss, a long commute from your home, or an office culture that makes it hard for you to perform you job duties. Employers are looking for potential employees that can adjust to the negatives of the job.
  • Employers are looking for individuals that can work with other employees.  Potential employees need to show that they are a team player and are willing to work with everyone to accomplish important job goals and duties.
  • Employers are looking for potential employees that have good communication and writing skills.  A report by the Pew Foundation found, out of 375 companies that they interviewed, 75% of new hires where lacking in communication and writing skills.  Being able to express your ideas and thoughts are very important to employers.
  • Employers are looking for employees who require little supervision and direction to get the work done in a timely and professional manner. Employers like to hire self-motivated employees because they require very little direction from their supervisors. A self-motivated employee performs work duties without any prodding from others.

Students that are in middle school, high school, and college need to do several things before interviewing for a job, (regardless if the job is mowing lawns, cleaning an office or applying at a major corporation).  Here is a list of Dos:

  • Before beginning your search you have to understand why all companies or individuals hire. It’s to solve problems and your challenge is to position yourself as the solution. In other words, hiring you allows the company or individual to solve problems faster, better and cheaper than they could without you.
  • You need to identify your skills and expertise in order to see if you can meet the skills the employer or individual is looking for.
  • If you are interested in working for a company do some research on the company to see if you can help them solve their problems.  You can do this by going on the Internet, through Google alerts, by read press releases and speak with current and former employees.
  • Your ability to uncover your target employers’ problems and position yourself as the solution is what will get you hired.


The most effective way to get a job is to think like an employer. Sounds simple but many people don’t appreciate the importance or know how to do it.  All companies want to hire individuals that can help solve problems in order to increase the company’s financial bottom line or work for an individual that wants to hire someone to do a job that they do not want to do. 

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