How to Assess Candidate Profiles.

Posted on March 30, 2022

Hiring a new employee is a lot like matchmaking — you want someone who doesn’t just fit the job description but also meshes well with your team and company ecosystem. How do you know when you’ve found “the one”? It starts with knowing how to accurately assess a candidate’s profile.

Here’s how to approach candidate profile assessment to help you spend less time on poor-fit candidates and skip straight to your most qualified prospects.

Create a “Dummy” Candidate Profile

In marketing, brands create buyer personas that represent their ideal customers. This way, they can create marketing messages and materials that speak directly to those customers’ needs. Recruiters can use this same strategy when searching for candidates.

Create a “dummy” candidate profile that details the possible skills, experiences, and other characteristics that a best-fit candidate may have. It’s also helpful to look at the soft skills that will help a candidate thrive in a particular role, such as working on a team or good time management.

This candidate persona might look a little different for each role you’re filling, and it should! Tailor it to the needs of the job while also taking into account the skills and personalities of your existing team.

Decide Which Skills are Indispensable vs. Nice to Have

As you’re defining what you need in a candidate, it’s important to separate the skills and requirements that are absolutely required and those that are just nice to have. Knowing this difference goes back to understanding what the job actually entails: can a candidate perform the work satisfactorily if they lack certain skills?

Having too many requirements will make it harder to find a candidate that checks every box, which can delay your hiring timeline. Plus, candidates that do meet a lengthy list of requirements may have higher salary expectations (more skills = higher value, right?).

Consider Your Corporate Values and Culture

Not all candidates with valuable skills and experience will be a good fit for your organization. If they don’t share in your company values or don’t embrace your culture, they’re likely to struggle to adapt to their new role.

Remember, candidate matchmaking is a two-way street. It’s not just about finding someone who can do the job. Job seekers have their own views about work, career goals, and certain criteria for their job. Candidates who are looking for fulfillment beyond a paycheck won’t be able to contribute to their abilities if they feel like they’re out of place.

As you’re assessing candidate profiles, think about your company’s core values and culture. Even just going by a resume, there will likely be “hints” about a candidate’s own experience with company culture, such as working as part of a team or investing in professional development.

When you have a better idea of what the ideal candidate looks like, they’re much easier to spot! For more insights, head back to the Virtual Coworker blog.