In our first BGSF Webinar of the year, we explored the dynamic landscape of hiring in 2024. As we discussed current market conditions, talent acquisition strategies, and interview best practices, one burning question stood out: What do employers prioritize when evaluating potential candidates? To answer this, we conducted a LinkedIn poll and the results provided fascinating insights into the minds of employers.
The Poll Question
We asked our 222K+ followers, "As an employer, which topic would you explore during an interview to learn the most you could about a candidate?"
The options were:
Challenges they've faced
Priorities in a new role
How they communicate
How they work with others
The results are in, and they offer a glimpse into the key topics employers are focusing on during interviews. With a total of 232 votes, the results are as follows:
How they communicate received the most votes with 35%.
Challenges they've faced came in second with 28% of the votes
How they work with others came in third with 22% of the votes.
Priorities in a new role: was last with 15% of the votes.
Analyzing the Results
The poll results underscore the evolving priorities in hiring for 2024. As employers, understanding these preferences can enhance the effectiveness of the interview process. Here are some key takeaways.
How They Communicate
The clear winner, with 35% of the votes, emphasizes the significance of effective communication skills. Employers are keen on candidates who can articulate their thoughts, collaborate seamlessly, and convey ideas in a manner that aligns with the company's culture. According to Forbes, there is also a "new normal" when it comes to workplace communication as a result of the rise of remote work and increased mobile usage. They note that employers must acknowledge this and meet their workers and their candidates "where they’re at—on their phones." Candidates and employees want quick and easy communication, they want it on their phones, and they want multiple reminders from leadership. Employers heavily value communication, but it's important to understand the best way to communicate to effectively to attract and retain top talent.
Challenges They've Faced
From our poll results, it's clear that employers recognize the importance of understanding a candidate's resilience and problem-solving skills. This category encompasses a candidate's ability to navigate obstacles and learn from their experiences, providing valuable insights into their adaptability. According to Forbes, asking about challenges "provides insight into their mindset and capabilities when tackling complex situations."
How They Work With Others
Collaboration and teamwork continue to be critical aspects of the work environment. The 22% who selected this option emphasize the importance of a candidate's interpersonal skills and ability to contribute positively to a team. Business News Daily explains that having the right hard or technical skills in place on your team is important, but that it's critical to also have employees on the team that "possess people skills or the ability to work well within teams." Without the proper group organization and contributions, many projects will not succeed, no matter how capable the individuals are.
Priorities in a New Role
While not the most significant percentage, this option still highlights the relevance of gauging a candidate's understanding of their role and its responsibilities. Employers want to ensure alignment between the candidate's aspirations and the demands of the position. To be more specifc, an employer could ask what a candidate would do or hope to accomplish within the first 90 days of employment or how they plan to acclimate to this new role? This insightful topic could open up the doors to a number of different questions about strategy and goal setting.
Implications for Employers
In the ever-evolving landscape of hiring, understanding what matters most to employers is crucial for both job seekers and hiring managers. These poll results provide valuable insights into the most sought after qualities in 2024. As we navigate the intricacies of talent acquisition and retainment, it's clear that effective communication and collaboration skills remain at the forefront of employers' minds.