What should you look for in an employment candidate? Is it skill set, experience, attitude? Yes, it is and much more. I have my beliefs as to what to look for to help identify the best recruits, and I’ll share that with you – in a minute. Let’s begin with a few ideas of what to look for in an employment candidate.


Is the candidate dressed professionally and appropriate for the position? If not they might not understand the job or company culture.


Not only how they dress, but how they hold themselves, speak, and the collateral material they share such as resume and portfolios.


Are they excited about the position and the organization, if not they could be settling for the job, which usually means they’re still in the job market.

Body Language

Are they open, do they make eye contact or do they close off, crossing their arms and legs while turning away? One of my favorites is  someone holding a finger to their mouth while they talk – it may indicate they’re lying. If you’d like to learn more try this post, How to Read Candidate Body Language in an Interview.


This not only includes their resume but are they familiar with the company? Do they understand the organizations culture, vision, and mission? Have they memorized the names of the interview team and top personnel? And have they prepared questions for you?


Are there positive or negative trends on their resume, such as continuing education, or job hopping? Do they share what they liked about previous positions or are they caught up in why every boss they’ve ever had mistreated them?

Yellow Flags – There’s a three job gap on their resume. Dig in and find out why. It could be they volunteered in the Peace Corp or were incarcerated. You won’t know unless you ask.

Red Flags – On the application they checked felony, you asked about it and learned it was for embezzlement and you’re trying to hire an accountant.


If you need an attorney, you’re not going to hire someone and train them for the position. You’re going to hire an attorney. However, as important as skills are, sometimes, for some positions, experience and knowledge can be overrated, even detrimental, which leads me to character.


Earlier I said I’d share what I looked for to help me identify the best recruits, and while every point mentioned in the post is important, nothing tops character. We’ve all worked with skilled co-workers, who through poor character choices became toxic to the operation, and we’ve worked with teammates who came in green to the position, but became our favorite employees because of their positive character traits.  Who Should You Hire?

So, What Should You Look for in an Employment Candidate?

So, what should you look for in an employment candidate? Is it skills, character, experience or something not listed here? Let us know; we’d like to hear your options and advice. Thank you.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash