December 28, 2021

The top 5 criteria recruiters look for in job candidates

Recruiters are cautious and difficult to convince and you, as a job candidate, must meet certain criteria to catch their eyes. But do not worry. In the next article of Talent2Win, we will give you some keys to better understand and anticipate the lengthy processes that is recruitment and talent acquisition. Do you want to know what are recruiters looking for in job candidates? Here you will learn all their secrets.

The top 5 criteria for recruiters

1. The candidate’s motivation

Recruiting processes are getting longer and the “ideal candidate” needs to be aware of that. If a headhunter contacts you, and you are selected as a shortlisted candidate (i.e., your application is selected from the four or five that will be presented to the headhunter’s), you must expect to participate in a recruitment process that can last several weeks. You have to be prepared to hang in there. Employers want to be sure about their decision, and the candidate’s motivation can make the difference. 

2. The right degree and experience

The right degree and experience

The ideal candidate must be (“over”) motivated knowing that it is hard for decision-makers to let go of that much needed “Yes, we want you”. To obtain it, the renowned diploma – and the prestige of the school that awarded it – remains a sort of prerequisite for many recruiters. No matter what anyone says or thinks, but clearly, what is examined with the most attention is still the candidate’s professional experience. This is what will make the difference. 

Our advice is that although expertise is undeniable, it is no longer the ultimate requirement for being hired. Soft skills count a lot in job interviews nowadays so do not hesitate to put them in your CV. 

3. Good references

The list of references that the recruiter will be able to contact is more and more requested. This step should only be done, in theory, with the prior agreement of the candidate. In addition to that, some firms have more discreet reputation surveys. In any case, it is more common for a recruiter to go online.  

Therefore, we really recommend everyone to manage their image on social networks as if it was a brand. This is called personal branding, a notion that every experienced executive, in search or on the lookout, should investigate. 

4. An ability to identify the issues

And if your profile and experience match the position, what will make the difference? The answer will be your ability to project yourself within the framework of the proposed mission and to deliver a good self-diagnosis during interviews. Remember to always ask questions. A candidate will never be forgiven for not asking any questions during the job interview. 

You might also like: What to do after a job interview?

5. A”realistic” salary expectation

Finally, know that the subject of compensation remains a primary evaluation criterion. When recruiters contact a candidate for a position, they will ask about your expected salary. If your motivation is partly financial, do not deny it and mention the subject as soon as possible.  

Agencies have witnessed failed recruitments because a candidate suddenly demanded 20 or 25% more than his or her previous salary at the end of the negotiation cycle. In a context where many companies reducing the size of their workforce, the ideal candidate must ask for a realistic increase.  

If you want to earn more money, do not panic. There are always interesting packages to negotiate. Just remember to search what the common salaries for the position you are applying for are. 

How important are the soft skills? 

How important are the soft skills

Regarding the second criterion, you cannot leave apart the soft skills as mentioned. Recruiters are focusing more on the personality and the ability to adapt or evolve of the candidates, than on his or her diploma or experience. In the context of recruitment, interpersonal skills and motivation are now key elements.  

In a world of work that is transforming, automating and digitalizing, the obsolescence of technical skills (hard skills) is accelerating, so that the main challenge for employees today is to adapt their skills to functions that are constantly evolving. Agility and adaptability are becoming essential qualities that are increasingly important in professional development. 

So, what are the most critical skills for the upcoming years? These are the following: 

  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Management
  • Team spirit
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Judgment and decision making
  • Sense of service
  • Negotiation
  • Flexibility 
  • Ability to solve complex problems 

Cognitive and behavioral competencies are of increasing interest to companies seeking to recruit more broadly in order to foster a pleasant work environment but also a more diverse and inclusive team – and therefore more successful. These elements are essential for the integration and professional success of the candidate within the company. 

At Talent2Win, we strive to align your company’s business objectives with the best Talent Acquisition strategies available. If you want to learn more about the services we offer, do not hesitate to contact us. 

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