Hiring Managers, Get ‘The Job’ Done

 -  2/22/13

There are certain universal traits that hiring managers can look for during an interview that could land them a good hire.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s January jobs report showed that the unemployment rate rose by one-tenth of a percent to 7.9 percent, which leaves numerous people out of work and competing for a limited number of available positions.

Modest employment growth signals that hiring managers may have an abundant supply of applications on their desks. Deciphering which candidate is the best fit can be a challenge when there’s a surge of available talent. Some companies are trying to help both applicants and hiring managers become more efficient in streamlining new talent.

CBS’ new reality show “The Job” — which premiered just last week but has already been canceled — gave candidates a chance to land permanent positions at companies such as The Palm Restaurant Group, Cosmopolitan, Epic Records and Major League Soccer. In each episode, a different company scouts for candidates, who must compete in a variety of challenges. A panel consisting of executives and representatives within each industry judges the five candidates.

Bruce Bozzi Jr., executive vice president of Palm Restaurant Group, said that contestants in the show’s first episode were evaluated through their resume, job history, a Skype interview and personality. Regardless of a candidate’s paper resume, however, Bozzi said it’s important to “bring humor into the conversation and warmth so the interviewer can learn about you. … Be professional and have your appearance reflect that commitment,” he said.

Although some jobs demand employees with very specific skill sets, there are certain universal traits that hiring managers look for during an interview that may land a candidate a position, said Terri Lee Ryan, a Chicago-based headhunter and career coach with Human Capital Solutions Inc.

Here are five universal traits Ryan said hiring managers should take note of when looking for new talent:

Ability to listen and take direction. This is a skill that hiring managers notice when interviewing candidates. Does the candidate answer the question asked? A potential hire must be able to take direction and listen to what’s asked.

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