Recruitment criteria for recruiters: What do recruiters really look for in applicants?


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There are big differences between what applicants think and what HR pay attention - and what HR managers really look at. What really counts when hiring: practical experience.

Recruitment criteria for recruiters: What do recruiters really look for in applicants?

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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How students improve their start into professional life - checklist of typical questions

Anyone who is still in the middle of their studies or is about to graduate will have many questions. This could be, for example:

  • How should you plan your career?
  • Is it better to do a master’s degree or is only a bachelor’s sufficient?
  • How important are a doctorate and volunteer work?
  • Which recruitment criteria are really decisive for HR managers?
  • What do HR managers look out for with applicants?
  • What criteria do HR managers actually apply when selecting applicants?

Do you notice the difference? The first three questions are some typical examples of questions that students grapple with today when thinking about how to improve their starting conditions in working life. These are, however, quite egocentric and do not go further than your own thinking horizon.

Which criteria decide on the personnel selection?

I know this from my own experience, after all, I was looking for a job once after graduating and annoyed potential employers with my ideas. Today, as an entrepreneur, I get applications on the table and can only smile compared to my first steps at work.

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Today I learned a lot about how things really work in everyday working life and what other people, in this case future employers, really pay attention to. But what are the actual criteria when selecting personnel?

Personality and practical experience count more than the type of degree

In addition to the subject, the applicant's personality, practical experience and very good knowledge of English play a particularly important role in personnel decisions. Here it can be assumed that the chemistry between the recruiter and the applicant must be right or that the latter must fit into the company. Language skills are also an important aspect in times of increasing globalization.

For many applicants, however, this fact will come as a surprise: The type of degree - bachelor, master, diploma - and the exam grade are far less important than most believe.

Is a PhD worth it?

As Success Factors In the labor market, students are welcome to volunteer while studying. This can not hurt, but is of minor importance to HR professionals.

A doctorate, additional foreign languages, an MBA degree are also considered unimportant. However, I believe that such additional qualifications in the narrow range can be a tad at the scales with two equally well-qualified candidates.

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Which soft skills are required?

And then there are the ominous soft skills. Which are important? For the majority of the personnel responsible, they are solution-oriented thinking, self-employment and communication skills.

And at this point, recruiters from higher education institutions are looking for more commitment to the education of students. In terms of the student's ability to cope with conflicts and the ability to work, as well as the empathy of the students, the staff needs to take action.

It depends on the usability of the profession

It does not surprise me that the HR professionals value soft skills of their own and, more generally, those skills that are directly usable in everyday working life. This may be a little brief from the corporate side, but it's probably human.

Soft skills such as creativity, the mastery of learning and working techniques, rhetorical skills and willingness to learn, that is, the more abstract skills that are more likely to be useful in the long term, receive less attention.

Overcome the gap between theory and practice

This shows an interesting difference between the theoretical, university-oriented view of what might be in demand on the job market - and the actual demands in reality.

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Graduates who want to successfully enter the career path are well placed to overcome the gap between their theorical training and practice.


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  1. profilingvalues.com

    RT @GabiTrachsel: Survey - what recruiters look for in applicants: Gap between theory & practice | PROFESSIONAL PICTURES - - Exciting contribution...

  2. Michaela Wagner

    RT @GabiTrachsel: Survey - what recruiters look for in applicants: Gap between theory & practice | PROFESSIONAL PICTURES - - Exciting contribution...

  3. Gabriele Trachsel

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  4. Dialogue Center Berlin

    Survey - what HR managers look for in applicants: Gap between theory and practice | PROFESSIONAL PICTURES - Pers ...

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    What you should know for your career planning # Career Planning #Professional # Graduates #Career

  6. proRIS Consultants

    RT @QRC_Group_AG: What #Personal Look For When #Applicants: Gap between #Theory & #Practice

  7. QRC Group AG

    What #personnel look for when it comes to #applicants: Gap between #theory & #practice

  8. Felix Schorre

    Survey - what HR managers look for in applicants: Gap between theory and practice

  9. Constantin HarCon W.

    Big difference to Austria. Without a “title” almost nothing works anymore. University degree is well ahead of practical experience.

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    Survey - what HR managers look for when it comes to applicants: Gap between theory and practice: Our coopera… #Beruf #Education

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