The Perfect Candidate

Continuing our series on finding and hiring the best people for today and for the future of the company, today we’re going to talk about the ideal candidate for the position you are trying to fill.

Just like in sales where we develop the ideal customer profile, the same thing applies for the ideal candidate. As the old saying goes, “how are you going to find what you want if you don’t even know what you want?”

The best way to find the perfect candidate for the position you want to fill and for your company is to create a description of that ideal candidate. This means really thinking about what you want in the person you are going to hire.

Here are 11 character traits to look for when creating your ideal customer profile:

    1. The fundamental job description. This I am sure you have already. This covers what is needed for the position including education, experience, and capability. This is all good but does not paint the picture that you need. You’ve been working with this job description for years and …look where you are today! You need to develop your profile with a much more holistic approach. One that will give you some insight into the person’s entire character.
    2. Attitude: You want a candidate with the right attitude. The right person needs to have the right attitude. She needs to be positive, and he needs to believe that anything is possible if you work hard enough.
    3. Potential: The right candidate has to not only have the ability to do the job today but the potential to be a viable human asset to your company for years to come. You have to evaluate the right person with an eye towards the future.  Her future and her future with your company and yes. How she is going to contribute to your company’s success in five years. 
    4. Passion: the old adage of you can teach the product but you can’t teach passion applies here. And it could not be more accurate. Passionate people get things done; passionate people move mountains. They are the people who move the world so look for passion. But remember that passionate people are a pain in the butt so be ready for that.
    5. Success: Look for a candidate who has already proven he can be successful. Ask about their past. Even if they are straight out of school by talking to that person you can determine if they have been a zero or a hero and then take it from there. Winning is a habit. Make sure you hire someone who has that habit of winning.
    6. Curious: All great people are curious; they want to know how things work. They question everything and everybody. If the candidate you’re interviewing turns the tables on you and starts interviewing you…you are onto something with this person.
    7. Ambition: You want a candidate who is ambitious. A candidate who is in a hurry to get some place. When you talk to a candidate and he keeps asking you about the next step, about the future, about his future with the company then you are talking to the right person when it comes to ambition. 
    8. Contributes: You should be looking for a person who will contribute to your company. A person who is looking to make a difference in whatever organization she is a part of. This person will ask you about your company and your products to make sure that your company matters and well and is in fact contributing to your market, your industry and yes, the world.
    9. Authentic: Is the person real, is the candidate authentic. Do you feel you can trust this person to be honest with you and with everyone they come in contact with?  Look for authenticity in your ideal candidate. Believe me, you’ll know it when you see it!
    10. Adaptable: Your candidate should be able to adapt to any situation. He should be someone who embraces change, actually looks forward to change to the point of even causing that change. A person with this characteristic will prove to be a fantastic asset to your company.
  • Interesting: People who are interested in a lot of things are interesting people. Find out what their interests are. What do they do when they are not at work? What are their hobbies? What organizations do they belong to? What are they excited and passionate about? Knowing this information will go a long way to learning all you need to know about the right candidate.

Okay and one more. In the spirit of under promising and over delivering, let’s make it an even dozen.

  • Kindness: Is the person a good person? Someone you would enjoy working with every day? Forget that nice guys finish last nonsense. If the person you hire checks off all the right boxes listed above and is also a good and kind and yes pleasant person, you will have found yourself a winner. Hire that person and you’ll see them do great things for you, your company and yes themselves.

So, there you have it. Everything you need to develop your own ideal candidate profile. Next week we’ll talk about the actual search for that right candidate. Now that’s really going to be fun. It’s only common sense.