Key Differentiators That Separate Good vs. Great Candidates

It’s easy to spot a bad apple in the produce section: Look for brown spots.

But how do you spot a “bad apple” during the hiring process?

When you’re screening resumes and interviewing candidates, it’s important to remember that job seekers always put their best foot forward. As a result, it can be tough to know who merely “looks good on paper” or interviews well – and who will ultimately succeed on the job.

Separating the “good” from the “great.”

As a leading nationwide employment agency, it’s our job to make every aspect of staffing your business simpler and more successful. Below we share two of our recruiters’ favorite tips to hire smarter – by knowing how to distinguish adequate candidates from stellar ones:

Distinguishing Tactic #1: Give them a problem to solve.

A real-world exercise provides insight into how a candidate responds to a problem. The exercise shows you how the individual uses soft and hard skills to address a problem, while providing a glimpse of how they handle adversity.

A good candidate will attempt to solve the problem to the best of their abilities.

A great candidate will go above and beyond by:

  • Asking relevant questions to fill in missing information.
  • Explaining their thought process behind the solution they developed.
  • Admitting that they don’t have enough information to provide a solution – and then explain how they’d go about getting the answers they need. Great candidates have keen awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses; they’re humble enough to admit when they don’t have all the answers.

Distinguishing Tactic #2: Ask for proof.

During the hiring process, you’ll ask questions to determine whether the candidate has the requisite job skills, soft skills, background, and experience for the available role.

A good candidate will explain their skills and experience as they relate to the available job.

A great candidate will move beyond reviewing their background and:

  • Back up their claims with evidence (i.e., measurable results and KPIs about their job performance).
  • Share anecdotes that illustrate their abilities in action.
  • Be forthcoming about areas in which they lack skills or experience – and demonstrate a willingness to bridge the gap.

Related posts on hiring success:

Down to Two Candidates Here’s Who to Hire

Look for These 5 Qualities in Entry-Level Candidates

Breaking Bad…Hiring Habits

Avoid Making These Mistakes When Hiring Employees

Not seeing enough great candidates lately?

We can help. To find out how, contact your local PrideStaff office today.