Essentials for Winning the Right Job Candidate

September 4, 2020
Author: Kaitlin Morrison, Contributing Writer

When recruiters and human resources (HR) professionals hire new talent for a position, finding the right candidates early in the recruiting process saves time and resources. The current national unemployment rate stands at around 8.4%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which means employers can expect to receive more applications than they would have before the downturn.

Determining the essentials can save time and resources during the recruitment process.

To make the hiring process efficient, recruiters and hiring managers need to keep a few things in mind. First, make sure the job description clearly defines the skills and experience needed for the position. Next, have a thorough understanding of the company culture and work environment. Finally, assess the available talent supply to understand what a competitive salary range should be for the specific experience, job title and location. Taking these steps will improve recruiters’ chances of quickly finding the right candidate for the job.

Related: Using Data-Driven Recruitment Software to Increase Efficiency

Define the Role’s Required Skills

If the hiring manager has a vision for how the role will fit in with the rest of the team, then the recruiter needs to be aware of this, and the information should be added to the job description. The goal is to give recruiters all the necessary information to make the candidate selection process as smooth as it can be.

First, narrow the talent selection process only to those candidates who have the desired measurable, observable skills, also known as hard skills. Examples include data analysis, copywriting and accounting. Focus on technical skills, instead of job titles, as job titles can be dated or ambiguous.

Next, look for the needed soft skills. These may include good time management, strong critical thinking skills or the ability to remain calm under stress. It may be easier to spot these traits during an interview by asking behavioral questions or having candidates describe their tasks or challenges in their current role. Some organizations also benefit from having job seekers take a personality assessment to better assess soft skills.

Once an accurate job description has been created, think about where to post it. While most organizations post to general job boards and their social media accounts, also consider industry job boards, publications and newsletters. If a local talent shortage exists for the type of role, recruiting efforts may be well spent expanding to nearby metros or to locations with a talent surplus. Using a software tool focused on talent and location strategies like LaborIQ® by ThinkWhy can help recruiters identify the differences in talent supply and recommended salaries across U.S. metros.

Company Culture Fit Matters


Identifying candidates and how they might fit within the company culture goes beyond evaluating the hard and soft skills that are needed for a position. The company’s culture represents the organization’s shared values, goals and attitudes.

Just as they do when assessing soft skills, recruiters and hiring managers can use screening tools, such as work experience surveys or personality assessments, to help predict how a candidate will fit into the company’s culture. This data provides recruiters with another measure by which they can eliminate ill-fitting applicants. It will also save the company time and resources if the candidate is not actually a great fit for the company or work environment.

Take, for example, a candidate who possesses strong public speaking and interpersonal skills. This person will likely not be a good fit for a company where most contact occurs mostly online or via email and most of the work requires little interaction with others. This person would not thrive in a company culture that isn’t collaborative or doesn’t allow the candidate to be social with co-workers or clients.

Assess Talent Supply and Salaries

Another important factor in recruiting the right candidate is assessing talent supply and determining the right salary range. If recruiters fail to offer a competitive salary, they risk losing qualified candidates to a competitor during the hiring process or once the candidate accepts the position.

Using the salary answers feature of LaborIQ by ThinkWhy, recruiters and hiring managers can view the market value of more than 20,000 job titles based on required skills, experience and education. With the knowledge of the median and recommended salaries for a role, recruiters can ensure the employer’s salary range is appropriate. Recruiters should also be aware of how much leeway they have to offer a salary above the suggested range, if the potential employee asks for and warrants more money.

By analyzing the data on talent supply and salary with LaborIQ by ThinkWhy, recruiters will have a better chance of attracting the right candidates, ultimately saving time and resources, and winning a “yes” from their candidates and clients.