A resume is an important tool in recruitment, but it can’t fully capture the applicant’s personality or potential. At best, it can only offer a window into their past, such as their employment history and where they studied. After all, how can you summarize a person’s existence into a one-page document? But hiring managers rely on this tool to make decisions that will affect the company’s future.
It’s important not to mistake past performance as a predictor of future results. The history contained in the document leaves out a lot of unknowns. If we want a more thorough understanding of the individual, we need to dig deeper. Services such as employment background checks for companies are a good start, but there’s something to be said about good old-fashioned intuition.
It’s not enough to come from the right background. We also want to attract talent who can fit our culture. If you had the option of picking between two people, alike in every conceivable way except in personality, you’d probably go for the one who’s a better fit for the organization.
Intangible traits are an important differentiator in the hiring process. It’s time for us to base our decisions on our intuition rather than what’s printed on the resume.
1. Shows commitment
When meeting with applicants, make it a point to ask about their level of commitment. If your team is filled with people who don’t even care about the outcome, then you can’t expect your company to reach new heights. Meanwhile, there’s nothing more exciting than working with people who are clearly passionate about what they do. They go above and beyond, even for simple tasks.
2. Ability to focus
Multitasking is a lie designed to mythologize people who seem like they can do it all. But you can’t expect people to juggle multiple tasks and succeed at all of them. What you want is someone who can give their undivided attention to a task.
Why is this important? We expect people to be good at different things and to fill multiple roles as needed. That said, it’s important to understand that the only way to get results is to focus on one thing at a time.
Look for a balance between versatility and focus. A person who can juggle both is more likely to commit fewer mistakes and thrive in high-stress settings. You don’t want someone who can give 25 percent to four different things. You want someone who can give their all to one thing.
3. Someone you can depend on
We’ve all dealt with people who have disappointed us time and again. We entrust them with important tasks, only to be left with subpar output. Their reasons don’t matter. Whether their failures were personal or incidental in nature, you can’t have someone on your team that’s undependable. What you need is someone who can prove themselves an asset to the team.
You can easily check whether a candidate is dependable. All you have to do is talk to their former bosses and colleagues and ask about their experiences. If the applicant made a good impression on them, then it should bode well for their prospects in your organization.
We’re all familiar with the story of an employee who slowly gains their confidence and becomes better at their job. While cute, a business isn’t the place for grooming talent. You need someone who can do the job now.
I’m sure that you would prefer if you delegated important tasks to people with a proven track record of success. But you’d have no way of knowing that during the hiring process. One way to identify candidates with great potential is to gauge their self-confidence. You can always sense the energy of someone who knows what they’re capable of.
You’ll start seeing better results once you fill your team with confident and competent individuals. This is especially important if you’re hiring for customer-facing roles. People don’t take too kindly to awkward interactions, and you want someone with great social skills to handle your most important clients.
A final word
A person’s history shows how far they have come, but that’s not the only thing you need to look at. In many cases, intangible traits can prove more valuable when choosing the right people for the job. You need to start looking beyond what’s printed on the page and dig deeper into their personality. That way, you’ll have a better sense of where they fit in your company.