Look for These 5 Qualities in Entry-Level Candidates

entry-level candidates

Hiring for entry-level roles presents a unique set of challenges:

  • Without a track record of success, it’s tough to know if an entry-level candidate will ultimately thrive on the job.
  • In an effort to compete with more qualified job seekers, entry-level candidates may embellish their experience.
  • Resumes are backward-looking, limiting their value when evaluating early-career job seekers.

Does that mean you can’t – or shouldn’t – hire entry-level job seekers? Absolutely not! It only means that you need to modify the way you evaluate those candidates. The next time you’re hiring for starter positions, look for these characteristics in the people you consider:


5 Predictors of Job Success in Entry-Level Candidates


1. Intelligence.

Whether you’re hiring for a warehouse job or one within a professional office environment, cognitive ability is one of the strongest predictors of job performance. Use a proven pre-employment assessment to accurately evaluate a candidate’s intelligence.


2. Teamwork.

New entrants to the workforce will rely on communicating with those around them to succeed in the workplace. As a result, the ability to work effectively with others is essential. When interviewing, look for evidence that candidates are empathetic and skilled at building relationships.


3. Ability to accept and act on feedback.

Any entry-level employee will go through a learning curve when hired; they’ll need training and coaching to effectively perform their job. The more receptive an entry-level employee is to feedback, and the more adept they are at incorporating constructive criticism, the better equipped they’ll be to learn and grow. If a candidate becomes defensive or places blame on others during the interview, consider these to be red flags.


4. Reliability.

Regardless of their experience level, an employee must show up on time and give their best to earn their team’s trust and respect. To determine if your candidate is dependable, ask them to give examples of regular attendance and punctuality. If the candidate doesn’t have extensive work experience to lean on, have them describe an activity or project in school where others relied on them.


5. Integrity.

Integrity is one of those intangibles that is critical to job success, but tough to ascertain in an entry-level job candidate. Behavioral interview questions can be helpful in uncovering evidence that a candidate is honest, fair, and ethical.


Need more help hiring entry-level candidates?

Check out this post on How to Interview Entry-Level Candidates.


Ensure your candidates have the right qualities for success.

Entry-level candidates can blossom into your company’s future leaders; however, hiring them can be a time-consuming and risky proposition. As a leading national staffing agency, PrideStaff can cost-effectively pinpoint the talent you need, without the risk – freeing you to focus on your most important priorities. Contact your local PrideStaff office to learn more.