Corporate Hiring Priorities — Page 2 of 2

Consequently employers are now investing the effort to define in great detail the skillsets needed to succeed in a given position and are investing the time to check for them through tests, rigorous interviews and detailed questioning of references with regard to competence in specific tasks.

This doesn’t eliminate the importance of intangibles like personality and attitude, but it does call for you to invest the effort to become proficient in the core competencies of the position you are seeking, even if it means delaying your application. If you do have the core competencies, list them prominently and in detail on your resume. During the interview, take the time to discuss your familiarity with tasks that establish those competencies. Put more effort into coming across as capable rather than likeable.

4. Valuing Cross-Functional Experience

In the past employers had the luxury of hiring mostly specialists and relying on full-time staffs of cross-functional employees to meld together diverse areas into an integrated whole. As employers now streamline workforces for improved cost-efficiency, they are awakening to the value of employees with the multi-disciplinary experience and training to serve as coordinators and liaisons incidentally to their core duties.

If your educational or work experience has given you familiarity with two or more related areas or disciplines, don’t keep that fact buried under your employment or educational history — play it up as a separate and distinct qualification in and of itself.

5. Pursuing a Racially and Culturally Diverse Workplace

More employers are recognizing that diversity is more than a nice social ideal — it’s a business edge. As both production and marketing go global, American companies are learning the advantages of having homegrown employees with the cultural affinities to relate effectively with farflung suppliers, workers and customers.

If you are lucky enough to speak foreign languages or have intimate knowledge of other cultures, use them as selling points when seeking positions with forward-looking, growth-oriented employers.

6. Using Internships and Other Non-Permanent Staffing

Many employers have recognized the benefits of using internships, fellowships, temporary employment and other programs to attract and try out workers before extending a permanent offer. This strategy opens the doors to capable, motivated young people who lack the credentials or work experience to qualify for desired positions. If you are in that category, check out these alternatives to finding a permanent job. One of these alternative routes may prove to be a faster, more efficient way to acquire the experience and opportunities you want.

7. Adopting Performance-Based Compensation Systems

In keeping with their new focus on attracting top performers, most employers are abandoning the one-size-fits-all compensation system traditionally used by large corporations. If you have attractive qualifications and are attracting interest from a number of employers, ask about their willingness to structure a compensation package that promises more pay for superior performance.

8. Allowing Flexibilities to Attract and Retain Key Workers

To gain an edge in recruiting and retaining quality employees, a large percentage of employers are becoming open to accommodating working hours to the lifestyle needs of key employees. Many firms have already adopted flex-hours, home-based work, shortened workweeks and extended family and educational leave. Consider these factors in choosing an employer, especially if you have a family or are planning one.