10 Signs of High-Quality Candidates
10 Signs of High-Quality Candidates

10 Signs of High-Quality Candidates You Might Miss While Hiring

Noel Diem |

Are you tired of sifting through countless resumes, only to end up with mediocre hires? Finding high-quality candidates is the biggest problem we hear from HR leaders…But how do you identify top-tier individuals?

In this blog post, we’ll uncover 10 signs of high-quality candidates that you might be missing. What do these look like? Sometimes, they’re extremely hard to spot!

What Is A High-Quality Candidate?

A high-quality candidate is someone who possesses the skills, attitude, and values. They align with your company’s culture and goals without having to change who they are. They are proactive, adaptable, and bring added value to your team.

Even if someone doesn’t align perfectly, that doesn’t mean they are bad. It just might not mean they are the best fit for your company.

10 Signs of High-Quality Candidates You Might Miss While Hiring

When you’re hiring, there’s a lot in play. You’re facing creeping deadlines, manager pushback, and a hiring market that isn’t exactly easy. While we hear reports that it’s a “hiring market right now, real-life HR experience looks a little different. Most industries aren’t in hiring market.

In fact, over 50% of hiring right now is for healthcare and manufacturing. If you’re not in those industries, you’re struggling to get great hires.

So what should you look for?

high-quality candidates


Teamwork is crucial in any workplace.

Find candidates who:

  • Collaborate with others
  • Communicate well
  • Are engaged.

What should you look for? Observe how they interact in group settings during the interview process. If you aren’t doing panel interviews, ask for specific examples.

Willingness to learn

When hiring high-quality candidates, look for a willingness to learn. Those who embrace growth and development bring valuable skills and fresh perspectives to your team. Keep an eye out for candidates eager to expand their knowledge.

What should you look for? Bring up the potential for growth and see how they respond. Bring up your learning management system or your mentorship program, for example.


Effective communication is key for high-quality candidates. They listen actively, articulate thoughts clearly, and adapt their message to different audiences. Clear communication fosters collaboration and understanding in the workplace.

What should you look for? Ask a specific question about communication and how you can use it at work. Ask for examples of when they had poor communication and what they learned.


Self-motivation is key in high-quality candidates. Look for individuals who take initiative, set goals, and drive themselves to succeed. These candidates are proactive problem solvers who can propel your team forward.

What should you look for? This one is actually very simple! Ask your candidates what they hope for the future. What their absolute dream role looks like.

Culture fit

Culture fit is crucial when hiring high-quality candidates. Look for those who align with your company values and integrate into team dynamics. A strong cultural match leads to better collaboration and success.

What should you look for? Think about your culture and ask specific questions that will reflect your beliefs. For example, if you have a culture of “Embracing Ownership,” ask for examples of where they did that.


Want a high-quality candidate? You want to ask them about how they measure their own performance. Even better, you want them to ask you how your organization measures it. Whether it’s through performance reviews, continuous feedback, or something else, ask about it.

What should you look for? Look for someone who can give you specifics about their performance. Ask them about their current competencies or KPIs.


One sign of a high-quality candidate is their stable work history. This is valuable in building a strong team. Now, candidates are jumping around more than they ever have.

What should you look for? Look for someone who has stayed at a job for an extended period of time. This doesn’t have to be years and years like it was in the past! If you like the candidate and they have jumped around, ask why. There might be extenuating circumstances you don’t know about.


Good candidates stand out by showcasing tangible results. Whether it’s increasing sales, improving processes, or exceeding targets, they show their value.

What should you look for? This is one place you shouldn’t have to look far – the answer should be right on their resume. Anyone with some good stats to show off will list them there.

They need to want the job

Good candidates exhibit genuine interest in the job and the company. They are enthusiastic about the opportunity and eager to contribute their skills and knowledge.

What should you look for? Reach out to someone who will follow-up on the interview, send an email, or a LinkedIn connection request.


Good candidates exhibit authenticity in their interactions, showing genuine interest and honesty. They are transparent about their experiences and qualifications, creating a trustworthy connection.

What should you look for? People who answer questions in a straight-out manner! Even if that means they have to admit they don’t know something.

How To Hire Quality Candidates in 7 Steps (With Tips)

Hiring high-quality candidates is a strategic process. It requires attention to detail and thorough evaluation. It also requires practice! You aren’t going to be able to recruit the absolute best on your first try.

However, you can get pretty close. Follow these steps:

Identify your needs

Before you start, define what skills and qualities are essential for the role. Identify your company’s needs to attract high-quality candidates who align with your objectives.

Choose key indicators

Choosing key indicators is crucial when hiring high-quality candidates. Look at the list above and see what really matters for your organization.

Contact recruiters

When looking to attract high-quality candidates, reaching out to recruiters can be a game-changer. Recruiters have access to top talent and can help you find the perfect fit for your organization.

Write a clear job listing

When crafting a job listing, be concise and specific about the role’s responsibilities and requirements. Use clear language and don’t add too much fluff.

Think about things like tonality, buzzwords, and focusing on what matters.

Screen applicant resumes

Screening applicant resumes is a crucial step in identifying high-quality candidates.

Look for relevant experience, skills, and achievements that match your job requirements. Be thorough yet efficient in this process.

Need help doing this? Request a demo of our applicant tracking system today to make this process smoother.

Conduct interviews

Conducting interviews is a crucial step in assessing high-quality candidates. Ask relevant questions to gauge their skills, experience, and cultural fit within your organization. Take note of their responses and body language for valuable insights.

Track data and adjust

Tracking data during the hiring process is crucial. Analyze metrics to adjust your recruitment strategies for better results. Stay agile and make informed decisions based on real-time information.

Attract High-Quality Candidates – Recruitment Strategies

Recruitment strategies play a crucial role in attracting high-quality candidates.
Utilize your careers page, employee testimonials, reviews, referral programs, custom sources, and mobile-friendly applications to stand out in the competitive hiring landscape.

Use your careers page to get people excited about your employer brand

Your career page is the gateway to your brand. Showcase your company culture, benefits, and opportunities. Make it visually appealing and informative to attract top talent.

Create employee testimonial videos

Showcase your company culture through engaging employee testimonial videos. Let your team share their experiences and insights to attract high-quality candidates who resonate with your values and work environment.

Encourage employees to write reviews on employer review sites

Encouraging employees to share their feedback on employer review sites can attract high-quality candidates. Positive reviews build credibility and showcase a supportive work culture, making your company an appealing choice for top talent.

Create an employee referral program

Encourage your employees to refer top-notch candidates through a well-structured referral program. Reward those who bring in high-quality talent, creating a cycle of excellence within your organization.

Recruit from custom sources – not just major job boards

When looking for high-quality candidates, don’t limit your search to major job boards. Explore custom sources like industry-specific websites and social media platforms to attract top talent with unique skills and experiences.

Make it easy to apply from any device

To attract high-quality candidates, ensure your application process is mobile-friendly. Simplify the steps and optimize for all devices to make it easy for potential hires to apply on-the-go.

Recruiter’s Guide – How to Quickly Attract High-Quality Candidates

By following the strategies, HR enhances their chances of attracting high-quality candidates. There are many tactics that work – you just have to find the best ones for you.

Remember, recruiting high-quality candidates is not just about filling a position. It’s about finding individuals who will contribute positively to your organization. By focusing on quality over quantity and utilizing proven recruitment strategies, recruiters can ensure they are bringing in the best possible talent for their team.

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