An effective candidate profile functions as a blueprint to follow in your search for the perfect new hire. In addition to what’s typically listed in a job description, it considers an applicant’s behavioral and personality traits, as well as critical soft skills. It allows you to define a full, accurate picture, and helps you to understand the type of person you need before you start interviewing.

How to Develop a Candidate Profile

Creating a candidate profile can help you attract and identify the best candidates and fill your open position correctly the first time around, avoiding potentially disastrous hiring mistakes.

  • Start with a list of “must haves.” Decide on the most critical traits that a candidate must possess. These include hard and soft skills, as well as relevant experiences and past measures of performance. Be specific. Include achievements and successes in line with the volume of business you’re striving toward as you fill a position. Each one should tie back to a concrete, measurable expectation.
  • Add a list of “nice to haves.” These are secondary traits that you’d like to see in a candidate. Since they’re not “must haves,” they’re somewhat negotiable. This section of your candidate profile functions as a support to your “must have” list. For instance, unless a position is specific to a certain degree or completed level of schooling, details related to education might even fit this category. In the event a candidate comes along who meets all your other criteria and is a sure cultural fit, you’re not going to let them walk out the door to your competition because they don’t have an advanced degree, right?

A few more tips:

  • Keep in mind that you don’t want to hire someone exactly like you. And you also don’t want someone who’s a complete opposite. Aim for a happy medium: a candidate who share your values and goals, and complements rather than mirrors the strengths of your existing team.
  • Struggling to get started on common desirable traits? Consider a candidate’s focus, positive attitude, and the contributions they want to make to your company. Look for unbiased individuals who are open to new idea and seek input before making a decision. Reliability, teamwork, communication and flexibility will also likely rank high. Take each one of these qualities and drill down to the specifics related to the role, and you’ll be well on your way.

As you develop candidate profiles – and design and implement all the elements of your hiring process – consider working with a specialized search consultant from TRC Professional Solutions. We’ll be with you every step of the way to ensure that your expectations are met. Our niche recruitment areas include engineering, accounting, finance, marketing, logistics, cybersecurity and supply chain management. Contact us today to learn more.



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