What Employers Are Looking For In Job Candidates: Survey Results

On March 18th, I launched a poll asking employers what they would find most valuable in job candidate profiles. Those responses have helped shape the sorts of search filters being designed for the new Arts Admin Jobs Candidate Database. A few the responses were genuinely surprising.

The Three Most Important Items

Hands down, the three most important items to employers were:

  1. Desired employment level (full, part, freelance, etc.).
  2. Desired department (development, marketing, ops, etc.).
  3. A link to the candidate resume.

No big surprises there, however, I was surprised to see “Authorization to work in the US” coming in at #4. I expected to see “Desired Salary Range” score higher, but it was solidly in the middle of overall importance. Least important was knowing a candidate’s education level.

Overall Results

Here’s how respondents ranked all ten criteria:

LinkedIn: The Big Surprise

Having recently gone through a hiring wave, I’ve discovered firsthand just how important it is for candidates to have a LinkedIn profile. Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of LinkedIn, but I place far more value on data-driven decision making than nothing but gut feelings.

For all the things that bother me about LinkedIn, there are a number of added value points, such as uniform formatting of critical employment info and the ability to see business networking connections.

In the end, I can’t imagine hiring an employee without first going through their LinkedIn profile.

Consequently, you can imagine my surprise when respondents placed low value on candidates having LinkedIn profiles. The survey asked ” How important is it for candidates to have a link to their LinkedIn profile?” where respondents could indicate “Very Important,” “Important,” “Somewhat Important,” and “Not Important.”

Based solely on those who responded to the survey, it seems that the nonprofit performing arts sector doesn’t really find LinkedIn profiles as important as other sectors. Nonetheless, it’s been interesting to see how many of the initial candidates submitting profiles for the resume database are using their LinkedIn profile URL for their resume link.

If nothing else, this should give employers something to think about.

Almost Ready To Launch

At the time this was written, the database only needs four more profiles before it crosses the launch threshold. Submitting a profile is free and easy:

Candidates: Get Started On Your Free Profile

Once we get over that threshold, all of the employers who signed up for the launch announcement will receive their special discount code for early subscribers. If oyu haven’t already signed up, do so now before those last few candidate submissions come in!

Employers: Sign Up For Early Access

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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