Whether you’re recruiting internally or filling a role for your client, the ability to spot talent is an essential skill all recruiters should possess. In a market that is facing a skill shortage, you need to be honing in on the right applicant for the job, and the clues to finding that perfect candidate start as soon as they send through their CV.
So, what should you be looking out for to ensure you can get the right person for the job?
1. A Strong Introduction
Introductions shouldn’t just begin the interview, a good applicant will be showcasing how they fit your role from the point they press submit on their application. Their enthusiasm for the role should be reflected in their cover letter, a strong candidate will have tailored their opening to highlight all the reasons why you should be taking them to the next stage of the process.
You’ll get that sense of excitement knowing this candidate has ticked off all of the job requirements. In the interview, a good candidate will deliver a confident, relevant and fluid introduction. They will have the ability to summarise their experiences and tell you exactly why you should be hiring them.
The applicant will have a friendly but professional approach making it easy for you as the recruiter to gather information about them and why they match your role so well.
2. A Results Packed CV
A good candidate won’t just rely on a list of responsibilities in their CV, they will be able to demonstrate how they can perform a role. Look out for examples or stats in their CV that prove that they can achieve against set goals, they should also be able to reflect on how they can repeat these types of results in the position they have applied for.
A strong candidate will be able to document and monitor their own performance, highlighting how they personally contributed to the overall goals of the company they have previously or are currently working for. A CV should incorporate how a candidate matches each component in the job specification, so as a recruiter you should be able to clearly see their relevance to the role.
The best person for the job will have gone the extra mile to not just submit a generic CV but a CV that is custom to the job role.
3. Great Communication
Communication is a key skill for any role and the candidate’s ability to communicate effectively should be evident throughout the selection process. Whether in a formal setting such as the interview or communication through email updates or follow up calls, they should be able to articulate politely and professionally. Follow up emails or calls should also play a part in the vetting process helping you to identify how the candidate engages with you or any hiring managers involved in the process.
A candidate who responds to communication quickly is showing their eagerness and their ability to prioritize the selection process.
In terms of an interview, it should feel almost conversational, allowing you to gauge the candidate’s personality, you should be putting them at ease to vocalize their experiences and establish whether they are the right fit for the position you are recruiting for. The right candidate will be clear in their answers, providing depth without the need for you as the recruiter to prompt or probe after every answer.
4. Inquisitive Nature
The right candidate will have researched the company and position in detail prior to applying so will easily be able to ask questions that are tailored. Look out for the questions they ask, are they unique, do they bring further depth to the interview, are they interested to find out more about the organization or post? The applicant’s questions can demonstrate their desire to progress further within the role.
You want to find a candidate who is enthusiastic to learn more and is genuinely interested in the company, showing through their questioning that they are not only making sure they are right for the role but that the role is a long-term fit for them.
5. Excellent Presence
You can sense the best person for the job by their presence throughout the selection process. Their ability to adapt to your recruitment style, how they connect with all the people involved in the process and the passion they give off when they discuss the role.
Finding the right candidate is more than matching qualifications and experiences, you should be looking for how the candidate can fit with an existing team and through the interview, you will be able to see if their personality suits.
6. Highly Recommended
A good candidate can describe their achievements and present how they can fit your role, but a great candidate will be able to back that up with endorsements and testimonials. When recruiting Linkedin recommendations can support you to select the right candidate and screen the applicant, before official referencing commences.
The right applicant should be open to the feedback they have received from previous employers and colleagues and will use this to evidence their skills during the interview process.
About the author: Andrew Fennell is an experienced recruiter and founder of CV writing service StandOut CV. He also contributes to a number of leading career pages such as The Guardian, Business Insider, and Huffington Post.