Qualities of an ideal job candidate
Ingham: More and more, my hiring managers are looking for certain types of degrees or continuing education. In the creative world, candidates need to continue to learn new technologies (such as anything having to do with mobile) to stay on the cutting edge of digital design. In the sales world, candidates need to have some understanding of ad serving, analytics, data, video/rich media, and mobile opportunities, even if they don't have sales experience in all of those areas. Just as the sales process has grown more complex, so have the associated technologies, and strong candidates have kept current with industry changes. Candidates should demonstrate initiative and willingness to stay current by attending industry events, conferences, seminars, and e-learning, as well as staying abreast of industry publications, blogs, newsletters, and participating (at committee or board level wherever possible) in relevant professional organizations.
LeBlanc: We want to see a nice thread between the jobs and roles that they've held. We get very surgical when we do searches for qualified candidates. We want to find someone who looks just like what our client is looking for.
Currently, UX and mobile are the hottest jobs on the market. Any developers and engineers are regularly getting contract work and job offers. If you're a designer, you must understand and have experience working with UX and technology folks. Everyone is working so much closer together now -- no one can work in a silo anymore.
Landay: I look for career progression, increased responsibilities, growth, and overall consistency and success. Changes in jobs must make sense. Early career work in "academy companies" -- companies that provide good training and are known for retaining the best -- is also a plus.
We need candidates and will market them to the client because we are their advocates. But in order to accomplish this, they need to meet 90 percent or better of the requirements of the specific role we are looking to fill.
Ingham: Candidates who have graduated through one or more titles at the same company are often the kinds of employees that my hiring managers seek. When a company has elected to invest time and training into "grooming" or "growing" an employee, it indicates that they've placed a high value on retaining that person. My hiring managers are always looking for high-value employees who will commit to the current job, but they are also often looking for future leaders as well. When candidates have demonstrated peak performance (with promotions, awards, significant achievements) in one company, it is likely to assume that "code of excellence" will continue in a new firm.