4 standout candidate qualities to look for in tight-run hiring decisions

Hiring decisions are tough when everyone seems to be qualified. So here are four standout candidate qualities that distinguish the better from the best.

Colour candies against black and white: standout candidate qualities

If you’ve been marketing your company from HR, every open position will attract countless resumes from talented professionals. You might end up with a number of top contenders that all seem relatively similar. So what standout candidate qualities can you look for to help you make the right decision?

4 standout candidate qualities to watch for

Whether it’s on the resume or during the interview process, we dug up a few qualities that really show a candidate’s worth.

Writing skills. According to Kris Dunn, ‘hiring the best writer is always the right thing to do.’ He suggests you open a line of email communication with a follow-up question. The level of writing used in the applicant’s communications gives insight to their writing and communication skills.

Creative thinking. Creativity is not just for creative roles. A Fast Company article asserts ‘it’s equally important that these traditionally “non-creative” positions are considered areas for creativity.’ Ask the candidate questions about what they’re reading, interests and hobbies. If they have varied or committed interests, it’s a sign of curiosity and creativity.

Eagerness to learn. A lot of credence is given to advanced degrees in hiring. You can also look for extra certifications, knowledge of additional programs or discuss any classes they’ve taken on their own. This also serves as evidence of taking initiative, tackling challenges and adaptability.

Personality. Personality can even trump education and skills in some cases. Whether it shows in the way they talk to you or the way their references talk about them, a good personality can push a candidate to the top of a homogenous heap.

When hiring is a question of consistency or diversity, the key is a healthy balance. When it’s a dilemma between similar candidates, the key is hiring the candidate which won’t just meet the requirements, but bring that little something extra.

(Hat tip to Alan Cleaver for the photo)

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