Recruiting Extraordinary Talent

By: Mary Catania

As a recruiter, it is your responsibility to find well-qualified candidates for your clients. But have you ever asked yourself, how can I find a remarkable one? You know what I mean, it’s a serendipitous synergy you feel during an interview process with a candidate, like that certain someone and you were destined to meet. The interviewee has that edge, that charisma, that desire and eagerness in their eyes that you’ve been searching for, that no one else you’ve encountered yet possesses.

And let’s be honest, there are many mediocre candidates to choose from in today’s oversaturated job market, with a national unemployment rate of 8.2 percent as of February 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. So how do you find that golden star among the growing weeds? You look for certain steadfast qualities in a candidate’s demeanor that will translate into high job performance.

An extraordinary candidate doesn’t just do their job. No, regardless of their job description, they go above and beyond expectations. They don’t get annoyed when their boss asks them to do things that aren’t in their job profile; instead, they get excited at new opportunities to prove themselves and help their team excel. Furthermore, they continue to reinvent their role by proactively experimenting with new ideas and processes. A good interview question to ask: Would you step out of your job role if a situation asked for it? Would you do it on your own? Why?

Good employees stay in their safe zone and get their job done. Great employees are agile, adapt quickly to unexpected conditions, think quickly on their feet, and come up with original solutions on the fly. Some people just stand out from the crowd. They have a certain flare in their composure that makes you stop and listen to them. As a recruiter, you should have a knack for spotting this kind of talent and know right away when you have stumbled upon greatness.

Remarkable employees aren’t afraid of asking lots of questions. They don’t think they know everything; instead, they want to know what everyone else does. They probe other employees and superiors about why things are done a certain way so that they can improve on internal processes. They aren’t rebellious; rather, they are nonconformists. They have certain kinds of  eccentric, creative, and maybe even quirky temperaments. A good interview question to ask: Do you follow steadfast processes or look for new ways to improve upon them?

Finally, exceptional employees are never satisfied with their work accomplishments. They always want to outperform themselves and others. They are not complacent; rather, they constantly strive for a new level of perfection. A good interview question to ask: Your boss just gave you a promotion for all the hard work you’ve done. Now what? 

To be extraordinary in any job or an expert in any industry takes a tremendous amount of devotion, concentration, and effort. Finding candidates who feel passionately about what they do is essential to your success as a recruiter. Do you want a 9-to-5 zombie or someone who is “on” 24 hours a day, thinking creatively, and always looking for the next best thing?

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