What Are Hiring Managers Really Looking For?

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what are hiring managers really looking for

What Are Hiring Managers Really Looking For?

Have you ever wondered what hiring managers are really looking for? You aren’t alone. What hiring managers wanted ten or even five years ago has completely changed. Skills and experience are great, but according to our panelists, they are looking for more. And according to Legal Jobs, only 1 in 7 applicants will get interviews.

Our CEO and Founder, Jessica Chen, recently hosted a Soulcast Media | LIVE event on LinkedIn. She interviewed the Head of Marketing at Hirect, Stephanie Lovell, Eric Chen – Founder of Sabobatage, Fernando Campos – Co-Founder of MarketplaceOps, and Linden Lehner – Marketing Director at Komae.

They shared tips and personal stories about what hiring managers are really looking for. This Soulcast Media | LIVE event is brought to you by our amazing sponsors at Hirect

Hirect focuses on top tech startup hiring. Using our own proprietary algorithm, we match job seekers and recruiters instantly. Hirect is the one stop shop for matching with candidates, instant chatting, and video interviewing. No more emailing back and forth and waiting for responses.

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1. Personality

During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Eric said one of the biggest things he looks for in a new hire is whether or not their personality is suited for the role. Regardless of experience, or skills, specific personalities are what hiring managers are looking for. 

Consider the following:

  • Team Player – Being your own advocate is crucial to your career success, but being a team player is also important. This is because hiring managers want to know you can get along and work with everyone already working at the company. For example, when you start a position, you are the new person. Your personality will change the dynamics of the team. The hiring manager wants to make sure the dynamics shift for the better and not the worse. 
  • Ambitious – Even in large companies, hiring managers want people who want to stay at the company. They are looking for someone who can see themselves grow. For example, suppose you are ambitious and communicate your desire to grow within the company. The hiring manager automatically knows you will strive for excellence because you are more likely to be promoted if your work is outstanding. 
  • Confident – Hiring managers want people who are confident in their work and themselves. There is a difference between confidence and arrogance – they want confidence. For example, one way to showcase your confidence is in your communications. When you speak, do you use confident body language? Are you making eye contact? Are your thoughts logical and clear? If you aren’t confident in yourself, the hiring manager won’t be confident in you. In our e-course, Communicating With Confidence, you will learn how to engage your body language and tone of voice to always speak with confidence. 

Your personality plays a significant role in whether or not you are hired. Be sure you are confidently presenting yourself.


2. Experience

Hiring managers are still very much interested in your experience. During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Fernando said there are several types of experience he looks for in a new hire. It isn’t just job skills, but also the ability to replicate success and how proactive a person is.

Consider the following:

  • Previous job skills – It is important you have the skills necessary for the job you are applying for. During the Souclast Media | LIVE, Eric shared a story about how he had done all of the right things to get an interview. However, he didn’t have the right skills necessary to do the actual job. Needless to say, he didn’t get the job. You need to ensure you have the skills the hiring manager is looking for. For example, look at the LinkedIn profiles of people who have that job. Check out what their job requirements are and their skills. This will help give you a better idea of whether or not you have the right skills to do the job. what hiring managers are really looking for
  • Replicate Success – The ability to replicate success is a key part of the experience hiring managers are looking for. This means showing how you’ve been able to recreate the success you’ve achieved at every level in every job. For example, let’s say you want to showcase your sales success. You would want to say something like, “In my first year as sales director, I increased sales by 20%. I increased sales by 15% and 18% in the following two years, respectively.” When you do this, you show your increase in sales was not a one-time achievement but, instead, something you were capable of replicating. 
  • Proactive – Hiring managers are looking for proactive people. This quality can be showcased in your experience and articulated in an interview. For example, you can say something like, “As I interfaced with clients, I realized there was an issue with our App. It wasn’t user-friendly. So, I took all of their suggestions and created a new interface to make our App more intuitive for users.”  This shows your ability to see a problem and proactively solve it without being told to do so.

Being able to showcase your experience in the right way takes clear communication skills. In our e-course, The Art of Communication, you will learn how to communicate and execute your speaking and interpersonal communications at your highest level.

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3. Culture Fits And Adds

During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Stephanie said one of the biggest things she considers when hiring is whether or not the person is a culture fit or culture add. This means ensuring the person will work well with the current team and ad value.

Consider the following:

  • Culture Fit – Hiring managers want people who fit into their current work culture. This means someone who will get along with the existing team. For example, if the current culture is very autonomous and you are someone who needs more guidance, this job may not be the right fit. However, if you can work without guidance, it would be the right fit. what are hiring managers really looking for
  • Culture Add – A culture add is someone who elevates the current company culture. This person brings a different perspective the team needs. For example, you’ve applied for a social media manager position. The company has a team working on social media, but no team has b2b experience. You do have b2b experience. This is a culture add the company may be excited to investigate because your social media perspective will be different from those currently on the team.

💡We recommend the e-course, “Interviewing For Culture Fit” to help you learn what hiring managers want in a culture fit.

Hiring managers want to make sure they are finding candidates who will work well with their current culture and those who will elevate it.

Hiring managers are still looking for people with the right experience and skills. However, your personality and culture can elevate your chances of getting hired.


If you want to see the full LIVE version of the roundtable, check out Jessica’s Youtube Channel.

Do you want to learn how to stand out to hiring managers? Join our private communications group and level up with our expert guidance.

Sign up for the Soulcast Media Membership today!

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