As Hiring Rebounds, Managers Seek a Different Labor Force

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Hiring managers place a premium on teamwork -- even higher than qualities like ambition and the ability to think on their feet, according to a recent study from Development Dimensions International (DDI).

DDI, a global human resource consulting firm specializing in leadershipand selection, surveyed 1,515 hiring managers to learn more about their experiences when interviewing, evaluating and hiring employees as they increase their workforces.

For example, 75 percent of hiring managers surveyed want employees who are compatible in a team setting, while only 20 percent look for employees with ambition.

"In today's working environment, very little is accomplished without strong collaboration," said Scott Erker, DDI's vice president of selection solutions. "Overly ambitious hires will often only look out for themselves, which can harm team productivity and morale."

The findings include:

In an interview, clear communication even outweighs tardiness. According to the survey, 57 percent of respondents would be turned off by inarticulate candidates or those who are vague about previous experience, while only 15 percent would be turned off by candidates who are late to the interview or lack knowledge about the company.

"Hiring managers don't want to train people to communicate," Erker said. "If candidates are vague communicators in the interview, chances are they will be vague communicators in their jobs as well. It also indicates that they may be trying to hide something about past performance."

Hiring managers are still interested in employees who have been out of work for more than a year -- but with reservations.

While 85 percent of those surveyed said they would hire a worker who has been out of work, the majority noted that they would find out why the candidate has been out of work and how they have been spending their time off. According to Erker, "No one wants to hire a lemon. "Hiring managers need to ask more questions to determine the candidate's motivation or to detect indications that the candidate is counterproductive.

Internal pressure often leads to hiring mistakes. In fact, 34 percent of respondents said they made a bad hiring decision because of pressure to fill the position. "The cost of a bad hire is much higher than the cost of leaving the role open for a few more weeks," according to Erker. "Develop and follow a consistent hiring procedure. Don't rely solely on your gut, which hiring managers often do when they are in a hurry. You can accelerate the process to save time, but don't skip steps."

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