As the pandemic heightened, millions of professionals were laid off. Widespread unemployment meant that many companies were seeing unprecedented interest in their open positions. Choosing a candidate suddenly became challenging, partially because some hiring managers were inundated with viable options.

In some cases, this has led hiring managers to become more stringent about their requirements. They assume that they can ask for more, creating laundry lists of must-have skills that they want to find.

However, this approach can actually be counterproductive. At times, the best candidate isn’t the one with the most hard skills from your requirements list, surprisingly enough. If you want to make sure you select job seekers who are primed to shine, here’s what you need to do instead.

Limit Your Must-Haves

Even when unemployment rates are fairly high, keeping your must-haves list small is a smart move. Focus solely on the hard skills that are legitimately needed on day one. If it’s a capability that you’re willing to train or are open to them learning on the job, skip it.

Many professionals only apply to vacancies if they have all of what is included in the requirements list, regardless of whether they can actually excel in the position. As a result, you’ll miss out on them entirely.

By keeping your must-haves list short, you increase your talent pool. You’ll receive applications from professionals who could excel that would otherwise screen themselves out, increasing the odds that you genuinely find the best person for the job.

Focus on Mindset

At times, a professional with the most experience or broadest capabilities isn’t the ideal employee. While they may have a robust skillset, if their attitude is poor or they aren’t open to change, they could be more trouble than their worth.

Ideally, you want to focus on candidates with the right mindset. A passion for the field, enthusiasm about the role, and a willingness to learn may trump hard skills over the long-run. Similarly, a positive attitude and a strong culture fit are both valuable, as well as being open to adjusting their approach to align with company standards.

With the right mindset, a candidate can be brimming with potential. Even if they don’t have every hard skill, they are primed to learn and are embracing the challenge of taking on a new role. Plus, if they are approaching everything with a positive attitude, they’ll be pleasant company while they improve their capabilities.

Look for Soft Skills

Unlike hard skills, soft skills can be challenging to teach. However, they are incredibly critical, directly affecting a new hire’s odds of success.

When you screen candidates, make sure soft skills are a priority. Communication, collaboration, problem-solving, creativity, and similar traits matter. They determine how a candidate conducts themselves, builds relationships, and handles challenges, all of which influence how well they perform.

Ultimately, by focusing on the areas above, you can make sure that you find the best candidate for your vacant position. If you’d like to find out more about how you can land top talent, the team at TempStaff can help. Contact us today.



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