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Five ways to be certain that a Candidate will be an exceptional Employee

In a survey of 3,000 UK workers, one in three admitted to ‘coasting’ at work. As an Employer, having someone who does enough to get by (but no more) is problematic. So, how do you ensure that the people you interview will give 100 per cent on the job? We’ve interviewed thousands of Candidates as a company and know how to spot high achievers. Here are some of the common indications.

1. A pattern of rapid promotion

Talented Employees are people able to rise above their co-workers to excel time and time again. Do you have someone in front of you who has demonstrated success in multiple companies? Wherever they go, they’ve been suggested for promotion, held several positions rising in seniority and have been given responsibility for running key projects. A CV like this is a sign of an ambitious, credible person whose talents are valued by company leaders. 

2. Formal recognition of achievements

Not every company has a formal structure in place to award achievement, but a Candidate who has been endorsed in this way should stand out to you as a firm consideration for the role. On top of their industry qualifications, they’ve gone the extra mile to be recognised as a top performer – whether this is by winning a company prize, receiving additional bonuses or gaining a mention in industry press. In particular, look for people who have been nominated by their peers for awards. 

3. Able to deal with difficult situations

Exceptional Employees remain unphased by challenges. Always ask a Candidate to describe a problematic situation in interview, because the attitude they display will be telling. Instead of blaming others for mistakes made, the best applicants take a measured approach. They focus on mending things that need to be fixed, rather than pointing the finger. Hiring someone who is able to work with difficult people in difficult scenarios will be a real bonus. 

4. A strong work ethic

Look for someone who is hardwired to do the best they possibly can. These types of Employees are never satisfied by a job half-done. Under no circumstances would they say, ‘that’s not in my job description’, and as a result, they’ll raise standards across the team as a whole. To discover this valuable trait, ask Candidates about what motivates them in the workplace. Examine references for evidence that this is a person who will be truly missed by their colleagues. 

5. Evidence of a wide range of roles

Some high-calibre Candidates may not have direct experience of the position you’re advertising for. However, they are able to demonstrate adaptability. Their CV shows evidence that they’ve tackled a number of different roles, each different from the next, with an increasing amount of responsibility assigned to them. Don’t discount applicants on experience alone. It could be that the best Employee for you is someone with a broader skillset who can ably apply themselves. 

Your hiring strategy

A swift hire is essential if you’re to attract the best talent. However, a poorly matched Candidate will cause more problems than they’re worth. With this in mind, always prioritise quality over quantity. Spend the time necessary to get the calibre of people you require, rather than pressing ahead with every single application. Remember that the best Employees move up the ladder faster. They’ve reached the required level of seniority ahead of expectations, but they have less experience than others as a result. The real test for you as an Employer should be cultural fit. Show applicants around the office to see how they respond to your team. Each working environment is different. So, once they’ve ticked the boxes for the role, consider how they’ll perform within your company.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 we opened our first London office, to service Clients and Candidates in the capital.

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Allen Associates

Allen Associates

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