5 Most Important Qualities to Look for in a Candidate

As a recruiter, we receive heaps of resumes for a given position. Therefore, the selection process can at times be time consuming because the primary aim is to shortlist the right candidates for the job by balancing company’s resource requirements with the attitude, aptitude and experience of the applicant.Selecting Best Candidate
Besides, before finalizing anyone, there are a lot of other aspects to be considered apart from one’s technical expertise. For e.g. candidate’s attitude, compatibility, reliability, leadership skills, communication skills etc have its own importance.
Please advise if you were given an opportunity to finalize an applicant, what 5 most important things would you look for in a  candidate apart from his / her technical abilities and why?
Would welcome your participation…


  • 1) Emotional intelligence (There is no business that doesn’t involve humans)
    2) Evaluating risk (being afraid to take a risk is as bad as risking too much)
    3) Enabling others to perform (Naturally this multiplies every opportunity)
    4) Decision making capability (we have got to make the right decisions at the right time)
    5) Individual influence on achieving desired outcomes (vision)

  • Ah those intangibles that make a one candidate shine and another not even if they have similar qualifications and skill sets. As a recruiter it’s all from the interview that I base my assumptions, how the candidate handles himself and answers the questions. These are the things that impress me and let me know that they have the potential of being hired.
    Directness and the ability to speak coherently without attitude in a pleasing manner.
    Honesty in what they say about their strengths, weaknesses, experience, former employers, their goals and realistic expectations.
    A sense of humor and civility, or an ease about themselves, a lack or uptightness or edginess or extreme nervousness or tics.
    Ambition and drive, a desire to do well and learn, without having a sense or arrogance and a know it all attitude.
    A willingness to take advice and/or helpful criticism, the ability to listen and absorb what is being said without being defensive or getting angry.
    There are more considerations but you only asked for five. Leadership or management is tricky because not all positions are management positions and that opens another realm of questioning for those in area. Team players are another aspect, but if the first five areas are handled well, you can probably assume that the candidate will do well in other other areas as well. I have been doing this for over 25 years, and I’m a fairly good judge of character by now. When interviewing and rating candidates for certain types of positions, you need to know in what types of environments and positions they can succeed in better than others. All companies have different cultures and a mismatched personality within a particular culture will never fly.

  • 1. I have to understand the person. Their ability to communicate is imperative.
    2. They must be able to adapt as situations change. This week there may be a surplus, next week a deficit. Today the office may be warm, tomorrow it might be cool. The candidate should be able to learn, adjust, and adapt.
    3. It is easier to get along with a humble person. A measure of humility or at least a lack of arrogance is highly desireable.
    4. I have to be able to trust this person. They must act with ethics and integrity.
    5. The manner in which the person presents him or herself will be the impression our client has of our firm. Are they polished and professional in grooming?

  • 1) Honesty
    2) Enthusiasm
    3) Team-spirit
    4) Loyalty
    5) Personal grooming

  • 1. Past and Present Clients
    2. Industry Wins
    3. Experience
    4. Education
    5. Skill set

  • 1. Knowledge of the Subject Matter – It doesn’t matter how nice someone is, if they can’t start the job with some skills I don’t need them.
    2. An ability to think though problems. You don’t always have to have the RIGHT answer, but you need to have a process to find it (preferably besides “Call Dan).
    3. A Desire to improve
    4. The ability to get along with people. It doesn’t matter if you can interface an XBox to an AS400 and read 80 column punch cards in your head, if you cross the Junior Partner’s Secretary, your toast.
    5. A desire to excel in the position they are hired for. I’m not interested in where you want to go, I want to know if you are going to perform here first.

  • Guy Battaglia

    Just interview everyone that applies…
    This way you will be the ‘authority’ of your resources…
    Short listing is what you do for your clients. For a full service recruitment firm, there is no such thing as ‘short listing’ that is just being lazy…
    ‘Social Potency’, ‘Passion’…are you serious?
    How do you go about describing ,selling or categorizing a passion yet alone an individual’s passion?
    And, what if they have more then one passion and neither are applicable to the job?
    And Social Potency, really? Is there a pill that if your social potency lasts more then four (4) hours you must contact a Career Coach?
    C’mon, people are people and recruiting them and hiring them and pick them apart and flushing them out is not what job creation is about.
    It is about, ready for this, CREATING JOBS…

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