How The Pros Recruit for the Best Jobs in America
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How The Pros Recruit for the Best Jobs in America

The 2018 Best Jobs in America list is here, and it’s shaking things up for job seekers this year (especially data scientists, devops engineers, and marketing managers!).

But while it’s certainly interesting to think about how job seekers rate these roles, as employers we are more interested in the other side of the story: knowing how competitive and in-demand these jobs are, what’s the most effective way to recruit and hire candidates for them when you have an opening to fill?

From developers and engineers to managers and analysts, here’s how top recruiters and high-performing companies hire for the Best Jobs in America:

How to Hire Engineers

Engineers make up the largest category of jobs on the Best Jobs in America list by a wide margin, leaving recruiters to screen for a wide range of expertise among mechanical, electrical, front end, and data engineers. And just as important as technical skills? The attitude behind those skills, according to Terri Von Lehmden, General Manager of Talent Acquisition at Toyota Motor North America.

“We interview as much for attitude as we do for aptitude,” says Lehmden in a Glassdoor interview. “I want to make sure that candidates understand and embrace our unique culture and are inspired by our vision for the future of mobility.”

“Every hiring manager approaches the interview process in a way that’s authentic to them, but I think we are looking for lifelong learners as we are a culture of continuous improvement,” Lehmden continues. “I love it when a candidate asks me why we do what we do and challenges me to think about things in a new way.”

And Stefan Ries, Chief Human Resources Officer of SAP, offers a practical suggestion for recruiting in-demand candidates like engineers: reach out to candidates where they spend time.

“We realized if we want to attract the right talent, we have to be pro-active and be where our talent is,” says Ries in an interview for Glassdoor. “We are very active on social media, partner with key universities, and local schools to build relationships and expand our networks. We have also developed unique applications like our virtual ‘Get Home’ game and ‘Perfect Match’ Facebook app, which help us identify potential fits at SAP. These provide instant personality profiles and match roles for the candidates.”

How to Hire Managers

Managers make up the second largest category on the Best Jobs in America list. But since managers can work in a wide variety of fields – think marketing, strategy, finance, risk, and operations – one of the most important things you can do when hiring managers is to make sure they have the skills to back up the resume that got them in the door.

“It’s natural to make assumptions about management candidates based on what’s on their resume, especially if they’ve worked at big brands like Facebook and Google,” says Daniil Karp, Director of Marketing for the networking referral app Teamable. “Overcome that bias by putting every manager candidate through a structured interview process that looks at what they’ve done and what they want to do.”

“It makes sense that Adidas might want someone who’s done this before so they bring in someone from Nike,” continues Karp. “But it’s an imperfect measure. Do they want to do it again? Did they actually do a good job? Were they the ones doing it? A rigorous vetting process will help you find out how they manage and whether or not they can manage the way you need them to.”

How to Hire Developers

Developers make up another prominent and in-demand technical position on the Best Jobs in America list, including disciplines like mobile, UI, and business intelligence. This hybrid creative-technical role can be a challenge to recruit not just because it’s in such high demand but because such prominent companies are competing for the talent, like the big players Facebook, Apple, and Amazon. Karp offers some unconventional advice when you’re competing with powerful brands:

“Don’t lead with compensation,” says Karp. “If you’re in a competitive industry, compensation is a given. Candidates further along in their career have already chased money and they’re looking for something above and beyond a great salary like work-life balance or taking a mission-driven role.”

“Play to the employer's unique strengths,” continues Karp. “Will new hires have access to the executive team or be able to participate in high-level conversations? Sometimes something as simple as offering a better life/work balance or an intentional and healthy corporate culture can be what drives an in-demand candidate to accept a role at your company.”

To make sure you’re hiring the right developer for the job, Microsoft recruitment expert James Lloyd-Townshend, CEO of Nigel Frank, recommends asking questions that give developer candidates an opportunity to show their passion for their specialization while also pointing to specific examples of work they’ve completed in the past.

“A great question is to ask what the advantages are of the particular programming language you use compared to other web frameworks,” says Lloyd-Townshend. “This gives the company an opportunity to test the candidate’s knowledge of not only the particular language and its outstanding features, but web development and coding on the whole.

How to Hire Analysts

The demand for analysts, especially data, systems, business, and solutions architect analysts, is high and growing higher, as we can see from the high ranking of these positions in this year’s Best Jobs in America list. So, how can you find the best analyst for the job?

Gireesh Sonnad, CEO of Silverline, a Salesforce consulting company that won the 2018 Best Place to Work Employee’s Choice Award for medium and small businesses, is looking for passion:

“Ultimately, I look for someone who has the passion to be part of an organization that is rapidly growing, is focused on the success of their customers, and driven by the desire to contribute to the team as a whole,” says Gireesh in a Glassdoor interview. “Certainly, skill in their role and the ability to bring a unique perspective are important traits. But I believe that if there is a strong and meaningful fit between a candidate and the team at large, then we will be capable of incredible things.

No one said it would be easy to recruit candidates for the Best Jobs in America, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Use these tips and the resources at Glassdoor to find and hire the best engineers, developers, managers, and analysts for the job.


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