Job Experience Is Hiring Manager's Number One Concern

August 5, 2003 ( - When looking for that perfect candidate to fill an open position, hiring managers are most concerned about prior job experience.

This comes at a time when 25% of hiring managers report plans to expand their recruiting budgets. Combine more money with nearly half of all hiring managers filling open positions in 14 days or less and the way a candidate comes across during those crucial interview periods definitely plays a part in landing that job, according a survey.

Overall, one-third of hiring managers ranked experience their number one factor influencing the selection of a candidate.But experience is not the only factor. After prior practice, hiring managers rated the candidate’s professional behavior during the selection process as the most important criteria influencing their selection of candidates. Tied for the third were the candidate’s fit within the company culture and a recommendation of the candidate by an employee within the company.

“Hiring in an employer’s market means companies can cherry pick top candidates,” said Eric Lochner, vice president of Corporate Marketing at, in a statement. “Hiring managers are looking for qualified, motivated candidates who demonstrate knowledge of the company and industry and are compatible with the corporate culture. To get noticed, job seekers need to network and customize communications to show why they are a good match for the company and how they can specifically contribute to its success.”

To better prepare would-be future employees, Lochner recommended several tips:

  • Pull words found in the job description to better describe your past experience.
  • Do your homework and research companies by checking out their Web sites, press releases and news coverage.
  • Try separating yourself from the crowd and do something the other candidates are not. For example, call the hiring manager directly and offer to work for free for a week to demonstrate your value.