What ‘good’ really looks like: Making the right recruitment choices | Thomas.co

The market thinks: Having the right experience makes someone a good choice for a job. 

Thomas knows: Identifying the right experience is only a starting point. Companies also need to understand what ‘good’ really looks like. 

If you were to jot down all the things that make a good candidate, what would that list look like? Perhaps you’d start with things like number of years in the industry, qualifications and technical skills. Then, you might consider previous achievements: ‘has proven experience delivering change projects’, ‘has hit sales targets month on month’. 

The truth is, what ‘good’ looks like doesn’t stop at experience. To understand whether someone is going to succeed in your organisation, you need the full picture, and not just surface-level facts. Which means you need to look a little deeper, at people’s personalities. 

Many businesses underestimate the importance of personality  

When asked to explain why someone (let’s call him Ben) is good at their job, many people might struggle to find the right words. For instance, Ben might be really self-motivated. Or quick to learn. Or a creative problem solver. Or very tactful, yet assertive. These kinds of traits can make all the difference between Ben being an ‘alright’ member of the team, and a really good one.  

But people find it difficult to spot these markers of success, let alone find the language to explain them. (“He just is,” isn’t a good enough answer, believe it or not.) 

It follows, then, that many people are unsure which traits to look out for when attempting to predict performance success. In other words – they don’t know what good really looks like, nor how to recruit for it. 

Think about it. Picture someone who left their role after just a short time. Now consider what drew you to them in the first place. Chances are, the reality of how they approached the role didn’t match up with your expectations, even though their previous experience was spot on. 

Good is a sum of all parts 

Here’s another consideration to take into account. While diving deeper into someone’s personality can help you predict how good they’ll be at a specific job, you also need to know how well they’ll fit in with your wider team. A team of over-confident high-achievers might excel individually but, together, they might butt heads and vie for dominance. However, the right mix of personalities will work together to excel as a team.  


It’s time to change how we identify ‘good’ 

You can do this by focusing on the interplay between a person’s behaviours, aptitudes and personality traits. How they collaborate in a team. And how they fit in with your business’s way of working. Understand your applicants in this way and you’ll significantly enhance recruitment and retention. You’ll also be able to spot people with the right balance of skills and experience, who fit the company, manager and team well. 

How do you recognise the ‘good’ candidates? 

Talent assessment platforms can help you to sort the really good candidates like Ben from the ones that are less likely to fit into your organisation and team. Behavioural and aptitude assessments give you a greater insight into the person behind the CV and can be used to spot potential derailers or where an individual may not fit into a team.

As an example, in Thomas Perform you can create a job profile in which you define the behavioural and personality traits that are important for the role. It’s then easy to compare the candidates’ assessment results against this using star ratings. You can measure behaviour, aptitude, personality and emotional intelligence traits and map them to role success benchmarks to make smarter recruitment and development decisions. This supports the rest of the recruitment process to make it easier to find the Bens of the world.  

It’s important to realise that “good” changes according to your organisations’ needs and isn’t always aligned to traditionally accepted measurements of a candidate such as work experience and qualifications. Psychometric assessments in recruitment work to benchmark candidates in a way that is often difficult to do with other methods, such as interviews. By scoring candidates on set criteria, it becomes easier to distinguish standout candidates and shortlist the most promising ones more quickly. 

By using psychometric tools, employers are better equipped with a deeper level of understanding to determine whether a candidate has the skills and personality traits for the role in question. To find out more about Thomas and how our suite of psychometric tools for recruitment can help you and your organisation, contact our experts

Top takeaways 

  • You must first understand what good looks like before you can recruit for it. What’s good for your business might not necessarily be what you’ve been looking for. 
  • The right mix of people will achieve far more than a collection of superstars who can’t work well together. In short, good is the sum of all parts. 

New to psychometrics? Get the lowdown here.