When it comes to identifying a high-quality candidate, it can be a challenge to gauge their performance simply because you have not experienced their work firsthand. It’s even more challenging when it comes to recruiting high-quality candidates because you do not immediately know if they are a good match for the role. However, there are some things that can help you attract and identify high-quality candidates while filtering out those who will not be a great job match.
But first thing’s first:
What Is A High-Quality Candidate?
The definition of a high-quality candidate varies depending on what role you are looking to fill. It is highly subjective, so it is not possible to come up with a definition that all human resource managers can agree on.
However, seeing that 23% of new hires leave their positions less than a year after being hired, and it costs the organization between 100% and 300% of the salary to replace them, we have to agree on something about the definition of a high-quality candidate. In general, a high-quality candidate is one who:
- Has a general understanding of your company and the position that you are looking to fill
- Is likely to stay with your organization for the long-term
- Is motivated to learn and grow
- Has good communication skills
- Is likely to make significant contributions to the achievement of the company goals
- Is being provided to you by a reputable source
How Do You Identify High-Quality Candidates?
Most of the factors that you can use to predict the performance of the applicants are role-specific. You cannot limit yourself to these. In order to identify the quality of, and rank your candidates, you also need to focus on qualities that are not specific to any role. These include a mix of hard and soft qualities that go a long way in helping your organization achieve its objectives.
[Read More: Candidate Assessment Tools]
Some of these behaviors and characteristics that are common to most if not all, high-quality candidates across all fields and industries are listed below.
1. Relevant work experience of high quality candidates
Contrary to popular belief, holding advanced degrees or attending highly recognized universities and colleges does not define the quality of a candidate. Relevant work experience does.
With relevant work experience, you can gauge the quality of work that the candidate will put in your organization based on former job performance. Their work experience also indicates their stability. If it shows that they have been changing jobs frequently, then that may be a red flag.
Even though there may be good reasons for leaving each company or position, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Hiring someone who is notorious for changing jobs is a large risk that could have you spending more money in a couple of months to replace them after they leave.
A high-quality candidate has stayed with their former company for two years or above. Additionally, if they had zero growth throughout their tenure, this may also be an issue that could indicate that the employee may not have performed at their highest level.
2. Top candidates have measurable results
A high-quality candidate should, at their fingertips, have quantifiable results of their former positions. They should be able to point to the ways they improved the productivity of their former organization by citing such things as awards won, sales goals met, and the challenges they overcame among others.
3. High quality candidates want the job
If you have to convince the candidate to take the job, they are probably not high quality. If they take the job after convincing them, it may indicate that they have nothing better at the moment. They might also not perform at their full capability. The moment another job with better benefits comes along, they just might leave.
High-quality candidates are enthusiastic about the job. They are curious about your company just as you are about their answers and qualifications. They typically come well prepared, ask questions, and know all the basics about your company.
How Do You Attract High-Quality Candidates?
Before you even advertise a job opening, you need to have an in-depth understanding of the role that you are trying to fill. Once you understand it, you will be able to come up with the candidate profile/persona that you are looking for.
Knowledge of their preferences, skills, characteristics, and motivations will allow you to target the right audience and identify the best fit from the rest. You need to have a proper plan and research in order to come up with the candidate's profile.
After determining what kind of candidates you want, be sure to take the following steps:
1. Talk to your current employees to get referrals to the best quality candidates
There is no better way to attract new high-quality employees than to talk to your current ones. You may be out of touch with what attracts and keeps the employees loyal to your organization, but they definitely are not. They are your best ambassadors.
Ask them to be honest and ask questions like, “On a scale of 1-5, how well do you like working at ABC Company?”
Follow up with “What specifically do you like about working at ABC Company?” and provide the ability for open-ended feedback.
Ask what kind of improvements they would suggest (if any).
Not only will this attract higher-quality candidates, but once they communicate what they would like improved and you work on it, they will feel obligated to work even harder. You also may find some of your best ideas here!
2. Work on your job descriptions to attract high quality candidates
The highest quality candidates know exactly what they are looking for and will not settle for less. In order to attract candidates that are a perfect fit, you need to write a detailed and clear job description.
Most job descriptions stop at the requirement, responsibilities, and duties. You should go the extra step and include your organization's culture and value proposition.
If you find it hard to come up with your own, there are a number of job description templates available online so that you can easily find something that works for your target hire.
3. Optimize your job application page to convert high quality candidates
Candidates that click on your job advertisement are already interested in the job. So you need to make sure that once they arrive on your landing page, they proceed with the application. If they don't, you need to make sure that it has nothing to do with the quality of your website.
Most internet users are very impatient. You only have a few seconds before they hit the back key and continue looking for other jobs. As such, you should make sure that your website is visually appealing and has no lag.
You can increase your website speed by enabling compression, reducing redirects, and improving server response time, among others. This is important because every one-second delay decreases the satisfaction of your customers by a whopping 16%. On top of that, if they have a bad experience online, 44% of them will tell their friends about it. This means the probability of a high-quality hire significantly reduces with each poor experience.
4. Use employee referrals as a top candidate source
Employee referrals are internal programs that organizations use to find candidates by asking their employees to recommend potential candidates from their networks.
Because your current employees know the position intimately, they are the best ways to attract high-quality hires who would be the best fit for it. Not only will they get you the best talent in the market, but their recommendations have also increased retention rate, reduced turnover rate, the cost to hire, and time to hire. They are the best ways to improve the ROI of candidates.
Employee referrals save you $7,500 per hire. What's more, 45% of candidates that come from referrals stay with your organization for more than four years, while only 25% of candidates from job boards stay longer than two years. With such figures, it only makes sense to encourage employee referrals.
5. Use a talent acquisition tool
Every company wants to have a strong talent acquisition process. A lot of companies struggle with it because hiring is difficult and has a large impact on the success of a company. That's why they should use talent acquisition tools to simplify the hiring process.
Talent acquisition tools also referred to as recruiting software, are the keystone to any company's talent acquisition strategy. They enable recruiters to organize their recruitment process, manage candidates efficiently, and find the top talent. Ultimately, they reduce the time-consuming burden of manual recruiting processes by automating candidate searches, resume parsing, interview scheduling, background verification, and offer management.
Let Crosschq Simplify Your Search of High-Quality Candidates
Crosschq delivers recruitment tools that provide human resource professionals and talent acquisition leaders with robust talent analytics to help them identify high-quality candidates to build winning, diverse teams. Our platform can help with everything from sourcing qualified talent and screening candidates to onboarding, and then measuring the quality of hire once they become employees.
To learn more about how Crosschq can help improve the quality of the candidates you attract and hire, schedule a free demo with a Crosschq expert.
Get started and see how you can optimize your hiring process, improve Quality of Hire and drive real business impact today.
- Increase Quality of Hire by 34%
- Boost recruiter efficiency by 28%
- Reduce time to Hiring Intelligence maturity by 84%
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