What are employers looking for?

When I hire, I’m not looking for a person or a resource. I’m looking for a solution to my problem. Sometimes that problem is big, sometimes it’s urgent. But there’s always a problem needing to be solved. The more a candidate looks like a solution to my problem, the closer to the front of the pile he/she gets. 

As far as I’m concerned, the most important thing for any candidate to do is to identify my problem(s) and present themselves as the solution. The problem could be: 

-We just got a bunch of new business and need someone to do immediately to satisfy those customers.

-We just acquired another business and need to convert/integrate from technology to technology and need someone who knows both technologies (or either one) and has done that before. 

- We have a new business problem and one possible solution is to build/enhance/maintain an app. Can you do that? Have you done that? 

- We plan to grow x% over the next 24 months and we need people to do more of what we already do which is <x>. Can you do that? Have you done that? 

- We have a problem and frankly, we’re not sure what to do. What would you suggest? Can you do that? Have you done that before?

 You kinda get the picture. The tricky part for any candidate is the research. How do you find out what my problems are? Ask! Ask me. Ask someone else in the company. Ask anyone. The simple act of research shows that you’re a serious candidate. The follow up with a solution to my problem puts you at the top of my list. 

If you’re right out of school or don’t have a lot of experience, you should still do this. You may not have as long a resume as others, but you have every bit as much to offer to solve my problems. Maybe a smart person who works hard and knows how to deliver is just what I need. You must find that out and present yourself as such. Remember, it’s about my problem, not yours. 

This was I great question. I’ve never seen it before. The fact that you thought enough to ask is a “huge” first step. It shows that you’re thinking about me, not just yourself. Keep thinking like that and there’s no telling how far you’ll get. Thank you and good luck.