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What jobs do you have the best shot at?

Put yourself into the shoes of the hiring manager.


What would she/he be seeking in the new hire?


Hiring managers productive hires who will get the job done.


Their evaluation will include.


  1. Professional achievements vs. those expected to be accomplished in the job

  2. Recency of these achievements

  3. Work experience in a similar professional environment

  4. Tenure in area of work

  5. Mobility


When shortlisting roles, invest more time into those your professional history is a good match with the job requirements on the above attributes.


Compensation fitment, history of commitment to past employers, and cultural fitment will be assessed later before making the final hiring decision. To get there, the above five will first be closely looked at to decide which candidates are high potential hires.


i. Professional achievements vs. those expected in the job.

Having achieved results similar to those required in the new job carries high weightage. It is seen as a predictor of future productivity. Been there, done that already, and hence should be replicable.


Sirisha has applied for a client sales role with an IT services company. In her recent 5 years, she has worked with a consulting / outsourcing firm. Starting with bid and proposal presentations, she transitioned to engaging with her primary client to identify new opportunities for business growth. In the two years in the role, she has consistently identified new work, bid for it and won it.


A candidature with past achievements mirroring those expected in a role will get a very close look. Barring a personality, referral or compensation mismatch, it should get to the finish line.


ii. Recency of these achievements

While achievements are important, what is equally important is when they were achieved. The more recent ones are most relevant.


Rakesh and Andrew are applicants for a sales role which requires pursuits of deals of $20+ million. Andrew had won deals of as high as $40 million till 5 years ago and then has moved into a new company where the size of deals is small. Rakesh started small and has scaled up in the past 2-3 years to winning $10 – 20 million deals.


Who is going to get the first look?


Other things being equal, someone with more recent relevant achievements will move to the head of the pack.


iii. Work experience in a similar professional environment

$500 million tech services company. Lean. Needs employees to multitask. Has a limited client referral base and can sell and support deals of modest complexity. Is looking to recruit a salesperson.


Andrew had a sterling career in IBM and Accenture. Working with these big brands, he successfully leveraged the range of offerings and extensive expertise to craft, win, and deliver large complex work.


Rakesh joined a tech services company when it was $200 million and is now $1.5 billion. Grew up scrappy, doing everything from cold calling to writing proposals and leading the complete sales cycle.


Which one will adapt and be productive faster if recruited for the position?


My money is on Rakesh.


iv. Tenure in area of work – skill, domain, technology, subject matter

Tenure is viewed as a measure of the range of situations experienced, proficiency through practice, and knowledge of where effort will yield best results.


On the assumption that an individual is motivated to perform, these are seen as predictors of productive outcomes.


For most roles, tenure is an asset.


Exception 1 - Some roles may need individuals who can be groomed to a particular way of working or bring insight into the behaviors, preferences, and tools of a younger population. Here past tenure is welcome to a point. Beyond that it is of diminishing value. Someone with lesser experience but perceived as more current and adaptable will more likely be preferred.


v. Mobility

Even in the evolving WFH world, many jobs require a commute or travel for work.

Throw your hat in the ring only if you can manage the commute or travel.


In the event that there are some short-term constraints (caregiver, mobility issues), which will go away soon, it may still be worth a conversation.


Else, pay more attention to those roles which are better aligned with your mobility.

n closing

Every position requires a set of skills, behaviors, and experiences to ensure success on the job.

These become the criteria on which potential candidates are evaluated.


Here is the first attributes which will get considered.

When shortlisting positions to apply for, assess how your experience and inclination measure up to these.


Narrow down to the role(s) to which you match the ask and get to the front of the pack.


Happy hunting!





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