Author: Claire Jarvis

When choosing candidates, is there a way to be certain who will succeed?  Most seasoned recruiters and hiring managers begin job searches knowing the “perfect” candidate is unlikely to exist…but it doesn’t mean they won’t find a “successful” candidate.

Although the resume is sometimes the only source of information on a potential candidate, focusing too heavily on the match between candidate’s qualifications, technical skills and your job requirement means missing out on candidates who are perhaps more likely to flourish in the role.

Important Thoughts on Choosing Candidates

Is the candidate coachable?
Teachability is more important than possessing a certain set of skills. A candidate with all the requisite skills for a particular job at a certain point in time – may struggle to adapt when the industry shifts and new skills become necessary for the position. Whereas a candidate with fewer of the requisite skills but who learns quickly and is receptive to coaching will grow with the position.

Is the candidate self-motivated?
The ideal candidate’s motivation should go beyond what is necessary to perform their job: a strongly-motivated candidate will list experiences indicating a broader interest in the biotech industry, for instance they may have sought out leadership roles and additional responsibilities within their previous companies. This self-motivation ensures the candidate contributes to their immediate team and the company as a whole.

Is the candidate competent?
Possessing the minimum skills to perform the job doesn’t prove the candidate will be able to carry out their functions efficiently. Competency can be teased out in the screening process by asking the candidate questions pertaining to their usual workflow process, and requesting examples of how they performed tasks within their previous roles.

Is the candidate loyal?
Is the candidate likely to stick around in the role, or do they tend to hop between employment opportunities? Loyalty can be assessed by length of time the candidate spent in previous jobs, as well as their involvement in industry beyond the scope of their position.

Taking into account these qualities when choosing candidates, you are more likely to find and hire a candidate who will remain an asset to your company for years to come.

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