7 Signs a Candidate Will Be an Engaged Employee

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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers! Have a question you’d like to ask? Leave it in the comments, and you might just see it in the next installment of Recruiter Q&A!

Today’s Question: What signs do you look for in candidates to determine whether or not they will be engaged on the job?

Lynda-41. They Ask Questions That Show They’ve Imagined Themselves in the Role

Candidates who ask questions that reveal they’ve pictured themselves in the role and have considered some of the issues they could potentially face are likely to be engaged employees. These individuals have gone beyond researching what the company does; they anticipate what the job will require of them and ask questions to gather more data that will improve their understanding.

Lynda Spiegel, Rising Star Resumes  

cassie2. The Role Meshes With Their Preferences and Abilities

To evaluate whether a candidate will be engaged in a position, I look at how well the role plays into my candidate’s preferences and abilities. I look to understand which work environments and problem-solving techniques energize and bring out the best in them, and whether the company’s culture is a match for this. I also look at what they want to do now and the ways in which they want to learn and grow, ensuring that this opportunity has the right runway.

Ideally, employees need to be engaged in a 360 manner: with their role, their teams, and the business. Fully engaged candidates understand their potential impact on the hiring company’s vision and mission, and they are personally invested to see that through. Engagement happens when people connect authentically with someone or something. Once hired, candidates with a 360-engagement feel accountable to not only themselves, but to the entire team, its leadership, and its customers. Aa lot of the work I do involves advising companies on how their ecosystems can positively impact engagement. Then, it’s about connecting with candidates and truly understanding what drives them, what engages them, and where can they thrive best.

Cassie Rosengren, Digital Knack  

chris3. Their Communication Is Open and Engaging

Their communication is open and engaging. They share their innate curiosity about the world with those around them, and you can often find them asking questions and looking for feedback. They often do their best to ensure that both parties are understood, meaning themselves and whomever they are communicating with, whether it is a colleague, manager, or client.

Chris Clay Wilding, Wilding Consulting Inc. 

sdseofirmhead4. Their Eagerness Shines Through

If in the first encounter we notice that the candidate knows nothing about our line of business but is eager to learn about it, eager to try new things with the company, and willing to take training, this is the kind of employee that we see will be engaged and dedicated to the type of work that we do.

Jason Perkins, San Diego SEO Firm 

scott5. They Persist Through Every Step of the Hiring Process

For us, how engaged an employee is on the job is directly linked to their enthusiasm, so we’ve had to develop systems to gauge how enthusiastic a candidate is about the job during the hiring process. The biggest predictor of this that we’ve found is a candidate’s persistence throughout the application process. We require personal statements from all applicants, as well as answers to a few key questions relevant to the job and their experience, and those serve as the front line in weeding out candidates who aren’t enthusiastic about the job.

Scott Marquart, Stringjoy 

Serena6. They Have a History of Taking Initiative

We look for candidates who have a history of taking initiative. This could range from starting their own business, to volunteering at a nonprofit, to taking online courses to expand their skill set. There are tons of ways individuals can demonstrate their self-motivation during the hiring process.

Looking back on employees we have hired over the years, the most successful and engaged ones are people who set goals and take action. Instead of waiting to be told what to do, they proactively take on new assignments.

Serena Holmes, Tigris Events  

Laura7. They’re Willing to Share Their Difficulties

Engagement can be tough to predict because candidates are showing their best selves at the interview. Of course they will appear eager and state their passion for the work.

One key to determining if engagement seems probable is if the workplace history they share is not all sunny. The candidate who shares problems, conflicts, and/or difficulties at previous jobs is modeling honesty and humanity. These traits are needed to foster strong relationships with coworkers and supervisors, which contributes to and promotes team engagement.

Laura MacLeod, From the Inside Out Project  

By Recruiter Q&A