Big companies share what they look for in recruiting

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A representative from the accounting firm PwC presents to a student recruiting fair hosted by The Marriott School of Management. (Gianluca Cuestas)

Recruiters take an average of six seconds to discard or keep a résumé, according to Business Insider. However, some companies say developing certain skills will keep applicants in the running for a job.

Representatives from Bain & Company, which received the No. 1 award for “Best Places to Work 2017” from Glassdoor, came to the BYU campus in February to recruit women from all majors.

BYU alumnus Matthew Lingenbrink, a manager and recruiter from Bain’s Dallas office, said his company has historically hired from BYU because its graduates make significant contributions to the company.

Lingenbrink said BYU students will compete with thousands of other student applicants. He said good grades, strong academics and high test scores are important, but what will help students stand out most are passion and leadership skills.

Lingenbrink said companies look for active leaders, not passive participants.

Qualtrics corporate recruiter Sidney Hauser said when she reviews résumés, she wants to see an understanding of the value someone brought to a position, not just a list of past jobs.

“For undergrad students, recruiters don’t care as much about specific positions as they do about a general overall work ethic,” Hauser said. “If you want to be in sales, and you did a marketing internship, that’s ok. We just want to see that during your internship, you worked hard and developed skills.”

BYU alumna Michelle Carroll, current case team leader at Bain & Company, said while she wishes she had developed more hard skills like Excel and other financial computing programs while at BYU, the communication skills she acquired as a student were invaluable.

“Often, you are working with clients that are significantly older than you, so being able to have those conversations and being able to have them in a way that doesn’t feel super transactional — I’m actually developing a relationship with this client,” Carroll said. “I’m not just coming to them for data. I am working with them to co-create the answer.”

Carroll said companies like Bain & Company care how well someone can articulate themselves because their employees may be placed in situations where they represent the company, and the company needs to be able to trust in the abilities and maturity of its employees.

Stephanie Sunday is a corporate technical recruiter at SolutionStream, a software company in Lehi, Utah. She suggested teachability sets applicants apart in recruitment.

“(I look for) the ability to continue learning and admitting the way they learned something may not be the best (or) only way,” Sunday said.

Sunday said she is also impressed with candidates who do company research and know the skills required to do the job, as well as with those who network and meet groups. She said connections are much more valuable than a degree.  

Independent work ethic and value have to be paired with an ability to work with others, Lingenbrink said.

“A lot of our work is significant in a team environment, so can you work well in a team?” Lingenbrink said. “Are you a team player? Can you think bigger than your piece of work and see how it fits in with the broad picture?”

Lingenbrink said students’ passion for everything they do should encompass all the skills they learn in their undergraduate experience.