August 20, 2013

5 Candidate Types You Should Know

job candidatesBy now you know that recruiting an ideal candidate for your company is more than just looking at his or her resume and cover letter, or calling a few references. You have to bring the candidate in for a face-to-face meeting and interview.

That’s because finding the right fit for your company isn’t just a list of qualifications, degrees and experience. It’s about finding a personality that fits your company’s culture and goals. You have to get a feel for how they interact with other people in a professional environment.

Unique personalities are what makes the human race so diverse and every relationship or interaction exciting. So when you start looking at resumes and cover letters, it’s important to know you will run into many different types of candidates from shy and sensitive types to extroverts. That is why it is crucial to know about the different types of job candidates you could potentially interview so you ask the right questions and get the best person for the job.

So how many different types of candidates could you potentially see during the recruiting process? Who knows. Think of your family friends and how many different personalities you deal with on a daily basis. You can’t possibly prepare for dealing with every type of person, but you can be aware of the most common types of recruit personalities and the pros and cons of each.

zoho1. The Analytic/Detail-Oriented Type

Pros: This recruit comes to the interview prepared. Not only does he or she know about the company or organization, but he or she also has questions ready to ask at the end. Analytic types follow the rules and have unprecedented organizational skills. This recruit is also very reliable and accurate with any task. He or she will not only do the job, but make sure it is done correctly.

Cons: Many personality experts say that these type of people enjoy working alone rather than with a team or group. This could cause problems if you need him or her to work on a project with one or two other co-workers.

2. Flexible/Amiable Type

Pros: The flexible or amiable recruit is free of worry and stress. He or she is easy going and not afraid to change plans or go with the flow if need be. Unlike the analyical type, this recruit takes time to interact with others, works well with a team and enjoys hearing ideas from his or her co-workers.

Cons: Because this type of recruit is very easy going, they may have the tendency to forget about tasks. He or she may also be a push over or allow other employees — or even the boss — to walk all over them because they are afraid to say, “no.” While it may be nice in theory to have a people pleaser on your team, it could cause trouble in the future if others easily roll over them.

3. Confident and Outgoing

Pros: Can also be referred to as a smooth talker. This candidate looks you in the eye when answering questions and has a well thought out and good answer every time. Because he or she rarely looses their cool, their answers may appear scripted or rehearsed. If he or she is interviewing for a sales job, you should seriously consider them for the job.

Cons: The confident and outgoing smooth talker may have trouble deviating from his scripted responses. Ask open-ended questions that should require thought and see if the recruit sticks to stock answers or actually shows high-level thinking skills.

4. The Driven Candidate

Pros: You know a driven person as soon as you hear them talk or watch their body language. Often referred to as a “Type A personality,” this candidate has a plan and is 100 percent results oriented. If you need to get the job done or move forward quickly with a project, this is the recruit for you.

Cons: These types of recruits get results in the workplace, but they can unfortunately be tough to work with. Driven people are sometimes bossy or impatient, especially if others don’t agree or work at the same pace as them. They believe their way is not only the best approach, but in many cases the only way.

5. Quiet and Shy

Pros: Because these candidates are less talkative and appear less confident than other recruits, they typically have stellar resumes, references and work experience to make up for it. They can work by themselves or with a team and will get the job done.

Cons: Interviewing these candidates can be challenging. Due to his or her introverted and shy personality, they may answer questions with only one or two sentences, leaving you wanting to hear more. The key with these candidates is not throwing more questions at them, but to ask the right questions. Ask open-ended questions that encourage longer responses and give the candidate plenty of time to respond. However, if you are recruiting a sales person, this may not be the candidate for you, so keep in mind the job description.


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Austin is the Small Business Correspondent at Zoho Recruit. He writes about various topics concerning your small business, from current events to helpful tips as well as how Zoho products can benefit you.