Design your recruitment strategy with the outcome in mind. Can you define the ideal candidate for your open position? If not, you need to do that initial work before you build your recruitment strategy. Without an ideal candidate profile, you are missing out on an opportunity to attract the best candidates in your advertising content.

A job description describes the duties of the job, the daily tasks, and other details about the position, and the competencies that candidates need to have. A job description describes the position, while an ideal candidate profile focuses on attracting the best candidates by getting them excited about the company, the opportunity and the qualities needed for success in the position.

There are many different ways to build your ideal candidate profile but here are a few practical methods that we have used effectively:

1. Assess your top performers in the open position by using a comprehensive selection assessment like Prevue Assessment, Profile XT or another talent assessment of your choice. The talent assessment you use should offer valid and reliable assessments of cognitive abilities, behavioral or personality characteristics, and work motivations or passions. Your ideal candidate profile will identify the qualities that your top performers have in common. Here is an example of an ideal candidate profile using this method: ability to solve complex problems, excellent communicator, assertive, outgoing, decisive, independent, creative and enterprising.

2. Interview your top performers in the open position identifying the qualities that they have in common. Here is an example of an ideal candidate profile using this method: smart, open-minded, innovative, entrepreneurial, productive and engaging.

3. Use a sorting and prioritizing method like Focus Your Hiring Interview to identify the qualities that you are looking for in your ideal candidate. This method requires you to sort and prioritize qualities related to people smarts, solutions, business, expertise and human factors (i.e. behavioral traits). You are simply identifying the qualities that you know will drive success in the position. Here is an example of an ideal candidate profile using this method: Open-mindedness, Courage, Integrity, Humility, Emotional intelligence and Leadership.

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Without researching how to reach your ideal candidate, the above methods will be much less effective. Try to get into your candidate’s head: What are they looking at online? What social media do they use most? What groups are they a part of? What professional organizations or networking sites are they participating in? Most importantly, how do they prefer to communicate? Now you have a few different ways of creating your ideal candidate profile. Advertise this profile to bring your ideal candidates into your recruiting and selection process.

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