What Recruiters Look for When Hiring

Despite the fact that there are hundreds of search firms around that you can choose to work with, the most sought-after recruiters do not typically deal with and hire just any applicant they come across. Here’s why.

According to MENA Recruitment Consultants, professional recruiters follow a stringent screening process to ensure the selection of only the most talented candidates. They will also look for certain qualities in candidates that they deem important for a specific position or company, and that makes them stand out from other applicants.

But which particular qualities do recruitment consultants look for in their candidates? You might be surprised.

Here are some of the more important ones they focus on:

1. Enthusiasm

Eagerness is one trait that can easily catch a recruiter’s attention. Recruiters know that candidates who are genuinely passionate about getting a job and interested in the position and company they are targeting will be highly motivated to perform well.

Job consultants can gauge the enthusiasm and interest of applicants when they show up to interviews well-informed about the company they are applying for. Good candidates also know how to present themselves well. In addition, recruitment consultants know when job seekers are faking it. So above all else, be genuine!


Lose the Resume, Land the Job
We’ve all been there – sending out resumes, completing job applications, prepping for that big one-on-one interview. But there are ways to approach your job hunt that might actually give you a leg up on the competition. In the eyes of Korn Ferry CEO Gary Burnison, the way in which you “ACT” is what will help you stand out.


2. Commitment

A recruitment consultant’s main task is to give their candidates the job they are looking for. They will invest time and effort in finding the right company and position that will suit their needs and preference.

As such, they expect their candidates to put in the same amount of effort and dedication.

It can be hard for recruiters to know how committed the applicants are during the first stages of the whole recruitment process. However, they can gain a clearer picture of their candidate’s dedication when they:

  • Regularly communicate by email, calls, texts or private messages
  • Show a high level of professionalism through all forms of verbal and written communication
  • Answer calls or message promptly or within a reasonable amount of time
  • Show genuine interest in their application
  • Follow instructions and advice given to them (e.g., shows up at interviews on time, revises their resume to make it more impressive, etc.)

3. Confidence

Recruiters like candidates who exude the right level of confidence. Job seekers who are self-assured and friendly, and can handle the pressures of interviews, are more likely to catch the attention of recruitment consultants.

Hiring consultants need confident applicants; they won’t select and send candidates who are timid and refrain from speaking a lot. This is especially true for people looking for fashion, retail & hospitality jobs, for example, where confidence is a highly valued trait.

There is a big chance that the partner or hiring companies of the recruiting firm will not choose such candidates either. After all, they are also looking for new employees who can fit in effortlessly with the company culture and will work well with the current team.

4. Passion for Continuous Learning

Candidates that constantly undergo training and take up refresher and professional courses always find their way to the top of most recruiters’ lists. Applicants who take the initiative to learn more about their field and industry as a whole make better candidates.


How to Stand Out as a Job Applicant
It is a well-known fact that today’s job market is extremely competitive. HR professionals and hiring managers often face a daunting task when a position opens up and dozens, sometimes hundreds, of applications and resumes flood into their inbox.


Applicants who seek further education or training are seen as being more motivated to excel in their career. This indicates that the candidates will do their best to perform well in their new job. They will have no problems going through training and picking up the nuances and details of their tasks – something that will help them greatly as they start learning the ropes in their new workplace.

5. Aligned Values

Today, recruiters are focusing more on hiring candidates that are a good fit with a company’s particular culture. They search for applicants that possess the values that the company looks for or prioritizes.

Candidates who truly want to work for a particular organization can benefit from doing research on the company culture beforehand and prepare examples of how well they would work within the new environment. This will let job consultants know that their values align with the hiring company.

People looking to land their first job or are searching for better career opportunities will do well to work with recruitment consultants. Remember, however, that the recruiters’ work is only part of the equation.

Job seekers must invest time and effort in presenting their strengths and demonstrating the value they can provide. These will distinguish a candidate as the best new addition to a particular organization.

Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor

Contributed by David Mackenzie, a recruitment professional with over 20 years’ experience in the field and a record of entrepreneurial accomplishment. David is managing director and head of HR at Mackenzie Jones.

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