You Don’t Need the Perfect Candidate


It is easy to get lost in a hiring environment where you’re endlessly searching for the perfect candidate, the one with the right skills, education and experience to fill your open position. In reality, those candidates don’t exist, at least for a majority of the time. It can also result in your recruitment efforts costing well beyond what they should, with recruiters spending more time searching and advertising to find the “perfect candidate” for the role. If your company is in this cycle, it is time to reframe your mindset and focus on a more cost-effective approach to finding candidates who can do the job, even though they might not be perfect.

One of the most significant steps you can take to shift your hiring approach is to instead focus on data defining what makes someone successful in this role. Analyze the people you have or had in the position who did the job well, think about what features they have in common and their strengths. Once you know the actual description of what a successful employee would look like, you can use hiring assessments to see who matches that description.

Using pre-employment assessments will help you make more unbiased choices when hiring too. Just ensure that you’re using an assessment designed to be used during the hiring process and that the assessment is EEOC compliant. If you’re using the wrong assessment for hiring, it can get your company in a mess.

Using an unbiased hiring approach can help you hire candidates that you might not otherwise consider for the position but who might be the best candidate. For example, it might be standard for your organization to discount someone out of the workforce for a few years, but if they test well and have the skills and experience to do the job, they’re likely a great candidate role. Taking a data-driven approach allows you to focus on a candidate’s potential for growth and learning capacity, translating into success in a new role.