Employers tell what they really notice when hiring

What's the best way to get hired? What's the best way to do a resume? What is the most important thing to let employers know about? The reality is, this varies from company to company and hiring manager to hiring manager. But, to give a bit more insight as to what people are really thinking, I asked a few companies about the last person they hired -- what made them want to interview that person. Here's what they said:

Company name: Big Ass Fans, manufacturing

Hiring manager and title: Scott Nielsen, director of human resources

Position hired for and title: Steve Dunn was hired as a materials handler to operate forklifts, bringing supplies to the company's new Big Ass High Bay LED light fixture assembly line.

How did you first have contact with this candidate? A co-worker referred Steve as part of our employee referral program. After Steve is employed 90 days, the referring employee will receive $500.

What stood out that made you want to interview this person? Steve had a great deal of experience operating forklifts at a regional manufacturing company.

Company: Lattice, predictive analytics

Hiring Manager and title: Matthew Mesher, Senior Manager of Data Operations

Position hired for title: Analytical Engineer (Yuwen Zhang and Kevin Leong)

How did you first have contact with this candidate? Both Zhang and Leong applied online. 

What stood out that made you want to interview this person? Overall, the most exotic thing about the hiring of them both was the profile -- they didn't have direct experience. Zhang was just finishing his Ph.D. in neurology from Rutgers, and Leong was straight out of his Masters program in Biomedical Engineering at Washington University but they were incredibly smart, well-rounded and eager to learn. With those three things, we have the perfect combination for great analytic engineers.

Company name: Industrial Scientific Corporation

Hiring manager and title: Andy Johnson, Director of Repair and Rental Services for Americas, Australia & EMEA

Position hired for title: Service Center Manager

How did you first have contact with this candidate? He was working with an external recruiter (search firm) and our internal recruiter found his resume because both were using Scout.  The recruiter flagged the candidate as “interested” and then was able to move through the process within Taleo, the applicant tracking system. 

What stood out that made you want to interview this person? The candidate had direct industry experience having worked for the type of company that normally uses our products. In addition, he had solid career progression and strong leadership experience. It was a very accurate submittal.

Company name: Tintri, data storage

Hiring manager and title: Ken Klein, CEO

Position hired for title: Chief Financial Officer, Ian Halifax

How did you first have contact with this candidate? I previously worked with Ian at Wind River Systems, where as CEO and CFO of the company, respectively.

What stood out that made you want to interview this person? Aside from having worked with Ian closely at Wind River Systems and knowing he is a terrific leader and colleague, what stood out is Ian's track record of scaling high growth technology companies, guiding expansion and driving profitability as well as his extensive experience in publicly-traded technology companies. It doesn't hurt Ian has a terrific sense of humor, either.

Company: ConnectEDU, career planning and recruiting

Hiring manager and title: Controller

Position hired for title: Staff Accountant

How did you first have contact with this candidate? The candidate came through an internal referral, and my first contact with the candidate was through email.

What stood out that made you want to interview this person? The candidate's energy, enthusiasm, and passion for the position really came through and were attractive since those are not necessarily typical of candidates interviewing for this type of position.

Company name: Cigital, Inc., software security

Hiring manager and title: John Steven, Internal CTO

Position hired for title: Principal Consultant (Aaron Bedra)

How did you first have contact with this candidate? During a Chicago lunch-and-learn, Aaron's in-depth security knowledge stood out. He immediately demonstrated experience solving real-world security problems.

What stood out that made you want to interview this person? In an industry plagued by self-ascribed security "experts," Aaron's work helping design and code security into consumer websites and payment processors stands out, making him a great addition to the Cigital team.