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What are the Must-Have Qualities for a Candidate?

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Some qualities and experiences are essential if a candidate is going to perform well. These must have qualities, deal-breaker may be obvious, while others require a little investigation. As you put together a list of the most important traits for a position, don’t hesitate to list all the ideal qualities. Doing so ensures that you will have a list of both must-have and preferred, like-to-have attributes. The latter traits can be the criteria that leads you to choose one prospective hire over another.

Advertise Preferred Traits and Qualifications

When you construct a job description for your website, recruiters, or a jobs board, it is a good idea to divide your requirements into two simple lists.

First, list your most basic requirements and deal-breakers. This list shouldn’t be so long that it discourages just about anyone thinking of applying, but don’t hesitate to include what is truly necessary.

Next, list your preferred qualities. Maybe previous experience with a software program isn’t absolutely necessary, but it would certainly make things much easier for your business. The more difficult part of this section isn’t listing desirable skills and qualifications but rather desirable personality traits and tendencies. Be clear, but brief, in your description.

Using Preferred Qualities in Decision-Making

After a thorough look at candidates’ resumes, you should be left with an initial group of people who meet your deal-breaker criteria or at least get very close (and make up for any quality they don’t match with another very attractive experience or skill). Every employer hopes to find their ideal candidate, but a more realistic hope is what you will get very close.

After evaluating the results of assessments, conducting interviews, and checking references, you may have several candidates remaining who appear to be a good fit for your organization.

A list of preferred and ideal traits is most useful if you have a thorough understanding of your company’s needs. Every organization is different and you should understand your organization or employees’ weaknesses and strengths in order to select the best candidate out of several strong applicants.

Is too much time wasted instructing employees due to lack of knowledge? Or are your hires perfectly adequate in terms of skill and general personality, but you find that they rarely distinguish themselves or show a drive to succeed? Do you or your managers keep wishing for someone who would bring fresh ideas?

Having a smaller group of candidates allows you to distinguish between them more easily. Go back over the resumes, test results, and interview notes. It may take a little extra time, but being careful can save far more time (and money) in the long run.

Don’t be haphazard when making decisions based on preferred and desirable characteristics. Consider your business’s needs, prioritize, and think about whether the qualification can be learned in a reasonable amount of time or if it is an ingrained trait. It can be the difference between hiring a skilled worker who does a good job but keeps things the same and hiring a skilled worker who gives your business the boost it needs to stand out.

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