When using your Boolean search strings to scope out your ideal candidates, it is essential to search for relevant experience in their background to find someone who meets the qualifications. For example, if you’re looking to hire a programmer, then obviously you’re looking for keywords that indicate specific capabilities like “coder” or “developer.” In roles where licenses, degrees or years of specific experience are required to fulfill a job successfully it’s easier to be able to separate out which job seekers are not indisputably unqualified. Relevant experience is key in finding qualified candidates but what if you’re sourcing for an entry level position that doesn’t require specific skills or degrees? What if you want someone who is “hungry” and comfortable with ambiguity? Discovering someone’s intrinsic motivations and tendencies merely from reading a resume has its limitations but looking at a candidate’s resume for entry-level positions early in their careers can say a lot about their willingness to learn, and tolerance for stressful situations. Here are three useful job titles to look for and why they could indicate valuable soft skills in a candidate.
Sales– I have always maintained that working in sales early in a career builds character because of the emphasis on effective communication, creativity, and the ability to deal with rejection. Anyone who has successfully worked in sales knows that you can say all the right things, but there will always be times where the potential customer will refuse to buy what you’re selling. If someone takes rejection well and learns from it, that is a definite sign of emotional maturity in the individual which could be an asset to your organization.
Call Center/Customer Service- Many well-rounded professionals start in customer service. It is often a thankless and mentally taxing job, but these individuals are often the backbone of a company’s operations. They are sometimes the only human interaction a consumer may ever have with your company and to be successful, they must present the best possible experience. There will always be customers who will never be happy despite a representatives sincere and best efforts. The ability to deal with difficult personalities and situations daily may produce an employee with a higher than average tolerance for stress and problem-solving.
Account Manager- Like a position in sales, a candidate with experience in account management would learn strong communication skills. They would also need to have a high level of adaptability to work in different environments. Some may split time between an office setting and in the field. They must have a solid understanding of the company’s products but also be able to translate that to a client’s needs. A former successful account manager is likely to be able to work with minimal supervision and have a comfortability for solving their problems.
A previous job title can’t tell you everything you need to know about a candidate’s personality or core capabilities, but it can be an indicator of what they have experienced and challenges they have overcome.