• 12/8/2016
  • 12:00 AM
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At the interview stage, hiring managers say they continue to see far too many candidates underprepared and as a result display surprising – and avoidable – gaps in their interviewing skills.

Hiring Managers Reveal the Secrets of Success to Job Seekers in New Lee Hecht Harrison Research

Failure to meet job requirements is the most common error of job applicants; Failing to research the company is the most common error of interview candidates

WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ--December 8, 2016: The top three reasons for not selecting a job applicant for an interview are: a lack of job-related skills; a lack of technical skills and experience; and spelling/grammatical errors, according to new research from global talent development and transition firm Lee Hecht Harrison.

Furthermore, the survey of Human Resources managers revealed, when it comes to the job interview, the biggest mistakes made by candidates are: failing to research the company; not asking smart questions; and talking too much.

Greg Simpson, Senior Vice President and Career Transition Practice Leader at Lee Hecht Harrison, said: “Delivering what a recruiter is looking for at both the resume submission and interview stage is crucial to securing that great new job. The good news for job seekers is that the main weaknesses highlighted by hiring managers are easily rectified, so it’s important those currently job hunting, or looking to do so in the near future, take note of these insights and use them to improve their chance of landing the job they really want.”

“The most common missing ingredient reported by hiring managers at the application stage was job-related skills. This can be partially attributed to candidates misusing online job boards – applying with little strategic intent or alignment – and that approach is simply not working. The proliferation of online job boards featuring millions of open jobs seems to have lured candidates into applying for positions for which they are not really qualified. This may seem harmless, but it does more to frustrate hiring managers than impress them. Applicants should instead be focusing on those jobs where they meet most of the requirements or they’ll forever be knocking at a closed door.” 

Meanwhile, where candidates do actually have the right skills for the job, badly constructed resumes seem to be at play. Our research shows many job hunters fall victim to focusing on recording general tasks they have completed in their career to date, but not using such experience to illustrate achievements and results.

At the interview stage, hiring managers say they continue to see far too many candidates underprepared and as a result display surprising – and avoidable – gaps in their interviewing skills.

Simpson adds, “A job interview is a watershed moment in the life of any job seeker. Nail the interview, and a door will be open to their next career big break. Bomb and job seekers could find themselves constantly on the outside of opportunity, looking in and wondering what went wrong.”

New year, new job? Lee Hecht Harrison compiled these top job search tips based on learnings from this latest research:

  1. Tailor your resume for every application and focus on the jobs you really demonstrate strategic alignment with the requirements because a hit-or-miss approach frustrates potential employers. 
  2. Update your LinkedIn profile on an ongoing basis and make sure it does you justice – this is the most used platform by hiring managers to evaluate candidates.
  3. Make sure your resume reflects your skills and highlights quantifiable achievements rather than being a list of tasks you have completed.
  4. Invest time researching the company you are interviewing with, as well as those people who will be interviewing you (if known), to draw parallels between them and you to prove cultural fit.
  5. Prepare examples of key skills that you highlighted in your resume and practice delivering these with someone else or by recording yourself to hone your interviewing tone and presence.

Notes to editors:

About the research

This study examined candidate sourcing and hiring trends among Human Resources managers with responsibility for sourcing and/or hiring candidates for their companies. A total of 277 online interviews were conducted, representing all company sizes, across North America, Latin America, EMEA and Asia-Pacific, and represented all major industries. A copy of the full report can be downloaded here.

About Lee Hecht Harrison

Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) helps companies simplify the complexity associated with transforming their leadership and workforce so they can accelerate results, with less risk. We do this by helping their employees navigate change, become better leaders, develop better careers, and transition into new jobs. As the world’s leading integrated Talent Development and Transition company, we have the local expertise, global infrastructure, and industry-leading technology required to simplify the complexity associated with executing critical talent and workforce initiatives, reducing brand and operational risk. Teams in more than 60 countries around the world leverage our proven programmes and global experience to deliver tailored solutions to clients that align talent with the needs of their business.

For further information contact:

Helene Cavalli
VP Marketing
Lee Hecht Harrison

P +1.267.322.1300
E Helene.Cavalli@lhh.com