Learn about the Hiring Process

Each employer has a unique hiring process. Below are four steps that most employers use. It is important for every job seeker to do well at each step.  

The employer looks for the "right" people for their job opening.
  • Many start by looking at their own employees. They may ask for referrals from employees and others they know. These jobs are considered to be the in the “hidden” job market because they are never advertised, and only accessible through networking. Build Your Network talks about how to access the “hidden” job market.
  • Employers might consider people that they have met or know in the industry.
  • Employers might advertise the job. They may advertise on websites or online job boards.
  • Employers may work with a recruiter or agency. They may go to job fairs. 
  • Employers also ask applicants to send resumes and cover letters to the company.
The employer screens the applications.
Oftentimes, there are many people who apply for one job. The employer takes out the ones who aren't a good match. People may not have the right skills or experience. Or they don't do a good job describing how they are a good fit for the job. Sometimes employers use computer programs that electronically screen applicants’ resumes for keywords associated with vacant positions to determine which applicants are good candidates for interviews.  Then the employer may call a candidate on the phone to ask them questions—or they have people come in for an interview.
The employer sets up interviews with people who seem to fit their needs.
At the interview, the employer asks people about their skills and background. They are also looking to see if people will “fit” with their company. They look for things like a "can do" attitude. They look for people who can get along with others. They also want people who like to learn and work hard. This also gives the job seeker an opportunity to interview the employer. The job seeker wants to make sure that this job is a good “fit” as well.
The employer makes an offer to a selected applicant.
The employer chooses the person they want to hire and offers them the job. If they accept the job then it is time to discuss the salary and benefits. This is called "negotiation." This agreement has to benefit both parties. Sometimes the salary and benefits are not negotiable, but other things like the probation period and the work schedule are negotiable. A job seeker can walk away from an offer if it is not good for him or her.


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