Hiring and Recruiting

Top talent traits employers should be looking for

By Afshan Arouj

staffing agency candidate traits

Hiring the right full-time fit or contingent resource is one of the most critical components of an organization’s success. And when the cost of a bad hire is estimated at 33% of an employee’s first year salary, recruiters and hiring managers play a valuable role in sourcing and securing talent.

A recent study reveals that 86% of recruiters and 62% of employers feel the American labor market is candidate-driven, and top candidates will only stay on the market for an average of 10 days.

Other than having the skills and experience necessary to do the job, below is a list of traits demonstrated by the candidates that make the best hires:


1. They have responsive communication skills

Top candidates communicate effectively through all channels. Whether it’s phone, emails or job boards, they are well aware that the key to finding their next job is quick responsiveness to the recruiter or hiring manager. They are aware that they should be actively checking their phone, emails and job alerts to avoid missing any opportunity, and they don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and connect with their recruiter when they see a job with their skill set posted on the agency’s website.

2. They ask open ended questions

During the phone screen and interview process, engaged and interested candidates ask open ended questions about the position. They are interested in knowing position details and the interview process and if they’re interested in a long term relationship, they’ll ask questions regarding the company culture and the people who work there. This information will help them determine whether or not they will be a good fit for the position and the company, and if it is what, in fact, they are looking for. After the interview, they share their feedback with the recruiter and any findings that they think the recruiter may not know.

3. They know it’s a two-way relationship

Top candidates realize that when searching for a new job, a good relationship with their agency and recruiter is an important piece of the puzzle. They don’t hesitate to invite recruiters into their social networks and contact them to inquire on job opportunities. They aren’t just limited to social media, but also connect with the recruiters through a mutual friend or colleague.

4. They’re honest with their status

Top candidates respect their relationship with their agency. They are transparent with their recruiter on gaps in employment and reasons for leaving a previous position. If they have already been submitted to the company through other channels, they let the recruiter know to avoid double submission. Most importantly, they are transparent with their recruiter on their market status and let the recruiter know as soon as they find a new opportunity.

The best candidates are also honest during their interviews, as they are aware that professional interviewers will notice their body language. Rather than coming across as a “know it all," they are transparent regarding areas they require coaching and training in. They are aware that honesty will help them keep employer expectations more realistic and attainable, which in the long run benefits them in their career.

5. They don't lie on their resume

Interviews can be stressful, and top candidates know that lying about competencies and technical skills on their resume will only result in failure. Instead, they let the recruiter know of their competencies and whether or not they are capable of learning new skills. 

6. They're tech savvy 

Top candidates use their mobile devices to view and apply to jobs quickly and easily. They are not shy in using basic technologies to find their next dream job. The best candidates create job alters on their agency website by criteria that is specific to their skill set to get the latest matching jobs in their inbox.

Not only are these candidates quick in responding to emails and phone calls, when they are actively looking for their next job, they update their mobile device settings to show email, notifications and reminders on the locked screen . This not only shows the important emails regarding job opportunities, it also keeps them organized in seeing notifications and reminders when they aren't actively on their phone.  This is specifically beneficial when candidates are in the interview stage, as these notifications prevent missing important meetings and interviews.

7. They’re likable

Hiring managers agree that likability is the #1 hiring factor. The best candidates are professional yet approachable. Even if they’re the best at what they do, they leave any ego out of it.

8. They're adaptable 

Technologies and industries are always evolving, and the best candidates also have their pulse on the ever-changing industry trends and emerging technologies. They’re prepared to be ready for any questions and anticipate the unusual.

9. They’re resourceful

Engaged candidates are able to think on the spot and use their tool kits to the best of their abilities. Whether they’re networking at events, making connections online or joining other professional networks, they’re aware of every tool and resource they have available to them.

10. They're professional

Although the best candidates are likable, they’re also professional. This means respecting the boundaries of a business relationship, but still appearing approachable and experienced in your position or area of interest.

Hiring managers agree that 2018’s low unemployment combined with increased candidate awareness about employer brand is leading a very candidate driven market. Have you considered adding a staffing agency to your recruitment strategy?

Find talent with Procom

by Afshan Arouj

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