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What To Look For In An Ideal Candidate


When recruiting the right staff, I pay very little attention to degrees and certificates as I have seen candidates pass degrees and MBA’s and all the qualifications in the world but have no common sense and could not do the job. I also have people straight from school where I trained them up and they were brilliant. So qualifications simply get you to an interview.

I pay more attention to what they have done in the past and whether there was any trend line of increasing productivity such as promotions and given more responsibilities over time.

Especially when they have been in one place and they get promoted. Because leaving an employer and getting a better job elsewhere is not necessarily being done by merit but it could be just that they are able to look good at an interview and trick the interviewer to believing they can do the job.

When one gets promoted within the same job and they go up the ladder through promotions which occurs through achieving merit and producing results and being good and therefore being recognized.

It’s all about Productivity.

For a Grinder: 

Attitude. Focus on attitude, because you can teach someone skills if they have the right attitude. For example, talking about what they can do for the business, not what the business can do for them. Can you get along with them? You don’t have to like the person and be best mates with them. Being able to do the job and get results takes priority over “liking” them.

Skills. Get them to do 3 tasks because candidates say they can do things and they make their resumes look wonderful but the only real way to know whether they can do the job is to get them to do 3 tasks.

Productivity. Some people can do the task but they may take 3 hours when it should have taken 30 minutes. So their productivity is low which means they are very expensive. So time them when asking them to do tasks to see how long they take to complete it.

 I have used all sorts of psychometric testing in the past and they were 50% accurate. Using the above is 80% accurate for a Grinder.


For a Minder 

Attitude. Talking about what they can do for the business and not what the business can do for them…Can you get along with them? You don’t have to like them and be best mates. Being able to do the job and get results takes priority to “liking” them.

People skills. Focus on people skills and communication skills and persistence. The best way to test for this is whether they have managed other people before. Even ask some of the people they had managed in the past to see what kind of a manager they were. 

They need to have excellent communication skills. Test both their written and spoken English. Ask them to explain technical questions in layman’s language so the clients can understand. Not everyone can use ordinary language when speaking to a client. 

Productivity. Did their team achieve budgets and low turnover or staff productivity went up under their management?…look for references that indicate this trend of increasing results or promotions.

For a manager role psychometric testing has a greater degree of success but using the above is 70% accurate for a Manager role because it’s simply about managing others to get things done versus getting things done themselves.

Once you have your preferred candidate, you will know in the first 3 months if they are the right candidate because what they do in the first 3 months is what they will do for the next 30 years. 

The first 3 months tell a lot but you need to pay particular attention in this period. Often when one is unsure in that first 3 months and extends the probation into the next 3 months (6 months) it generally ends up confirming the first 3 months and its best to fire fast and hire slow in this case. 

It’s better to leave a seat empty than a seat occupied by an incompetent.

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