Factors Employers Consider in Hiring Decisions

You may think hiring decisions are as simple as the a candidate being a good fit for a job on paper and interviewing well, but there are many factors employers have to think about when making hiring decisions. Understanding what employers worry about when they make these decisions will help you address employer fears and get a job. Here are things your employer is thinking about when deciding whether or not to hire you:



If you were to list the most expensive parts of running a business, you would probably talk about supplies, advertising, and payroll, but you might overlook training. Training for new employees is one of the single greatest expenses for a company, and is considered to be one of the most controllable. Think about it. Many companies offer paid training, and time spent training you for the job is time that you are getting paid to work while not actually making or saving the company any money. Additionally, it is time that your trainer is spending away from his or her job, costing the company the pay of that employee, too. Training materials also cost money, whether they are books, videos, or online lessons. Think about how much it also costs to produce those materials including both the resources necessary for the production, as well as the time someone else spent making them.

Many companies spend thousands of dollars just to train their lowest level employees, and all of that expense comes out of your business’s bottom line. Can you blame employers for asking for specific qualifications in job postings? This is why experience is so important. If you have fewer qualifications or take longer to learn processes, you cost the company more money. When decisions involve choosing between two qualified candidates, sometimes the choice is made in favor of the candidate who seems like he or she could learn the necessary skills the fastest or who already has relevant experience.


Yes, employers think about how long you will work for their company as soon as they consider hiring you. Turnover, or the rate at which a company loses workers through quitting, layoffs, and terminations is an important factor in many business decisions. Companies put a high emphasis on retention, because it is more cost effective than spending thousands of dollars in training new employees. Retaining employees additionally has the benefit of consistency, which causes fewer errors and helps with company stability and morale.

Many large companies even have turnover metrics for specific segments of the business in order to maintain focus on the importance of employee retention. If the office you are applying to has high turnover, they aren’t going to hire someone that might leave them for a better opportunity in a year, because it hurts the performance scores of that particular office, and more importantly, hurts the company’s profit. This is why many well-qualified and excellent candidates are not selected for jobs, especially if they are over-qualified. Most employers understand that anyone with great skills and potential may find better opportunities elsewhere, whereas a decent candidate may not have more options, and may be more likely to stay with the company. Sometimes it is a tradeoff for excellent work and retention, but most people can be trained, while employees that cannot be retained can hurt profits and morale.


Morale is extremely important for company profitability. Studies prove that happier workers are more productive, have fewer workplace injuries, and are less likely to leave jobs for comparable, or even slightly better opportunities. Did you ever wonder why companies try to have fun days and team building activities? Building a positive culture is an investment in future profitability.

When employers look at candidates for jobs, they want to make sure that they can not only meet the requirements of the position, but that they can also fit in with the culture. Your attitude and personality will often be weighed as equally important as your qualifications. Many employers will even choose a less-qualified candidate for a position if they would be a better fit for the company’s culture, because it is often easier to train someone than to change his or her nature.

Promotional Opportunities

Many companies put enormous effort into creating systems for developing and promoting talented workers. Like mentioned before, talented workers often find better opportunities, and by offering promotional opportunities, employers can keep these workers engaged and reward employees for excellent work. This reduces turnover and builds positive morale by including incentives for long-term employment.

Additionally, higher-level employees require longer and more detailed training, but by promoting from within, the costs associated with this training are reduced, since the employee will already understand basics of the business’s processes. Another benefit is that employees who have worked in lower-level positions often have insight into working conditions and processes that managers and corporate executives don’t have, because they don’t do that work daily. This means that promoted employees can give valuable information to the company and make many innovative changes that could not be made without these employees’ understanding. This saves the company money on excesses and streamlines processes.

When employers are looking to hire new employees, the ability of that employee to promote to higher levels in the company is often a factor, especially in large businesses. This is why many simple entry-level jobs require degrees and qualifications that seem unnecessary at first. Most companies understand that promotable employees are an investment worth making, and some won’t even hire someone without being able to see that employee fulfilling the requirements of the next role with some training.

This means that if you barely meet the qualifications of the job, but someone else meets them and seems like a candidate that could work at a higher level down the road, the other candidate will probably get the job. When you are interviewing for a job, it is often a good idea to mention interest in promoting and developing with a company, since employers will often already think about it.

Cost Effectiveness

Given all this information, it is safe to say that the most important aspect of the hiring decision is cost. Every one of these factors goes back to how much it will cost the company to hire you, train, you, and potentially lose you. Every business needs to think about cash flow, and every business decision is made with that in mind. If the company would more than likely take a loss in hiring you, you won’t be the candidate that gets the job.

In order to stand out as an excellent candidate for any job, you need to make employers understand not only how little you will cost them for expenses like training and turnover, but that you have the skills to improve performance and make the business more profitable. Candidates that can demonstrate an ability to make businesses more effective and cost-efficient are usually the ones who are hired.

Tips for Reducing Employer Fears

  • Stress a desire to stay with a company long-term
  • Express an interest in promotional opportunities and growth
  • Demonstrate the ability to learn quickly
  • Show employers that you can improve processes
  • Let interviewers see your analytic abilities and leadership qualities that will help you be a more cost-effective employee in the long-run
Peggy Carouthers

Author: Peggy Carouthers

In a previous life Peggy worked as a human resources and hiring manager for a major national retail chain. Her expertise is in job hunting, hiring, and HR. These days Peggy works as a writer, crafting content for a range of publications.
Peggy Carouthers