Does a Candidate Have What It Takes?

If you were to write the perfect job description, what would you include? The correct answer is: it depends on the position! Each job has its own specific requirements and needs, and no two are the same. This should be conveyed in each job description.

For example, think about what are some must-haves when putting together a description for a new position. What preferred experiences, required background, and/or specific skills are necessary for a candidate to be successful in that role? What character traits or behavioral attributes will enable success for this individual?

If these skills and must-haves are not thoroughly considered before initiating the interview process, the hiring team will become frustrated that the candidates they’re talking to aren’t meeting their expectations of what they’re looking for.

It’s also acceptable to include how much experience your company needs for a position. For example, if you’d like someone with at least 3 years of experience using Salesforce, then stipulate that. There’s also a difference in hard skills versus soft skills. Some positions may require a very technical background, IT skills, or knowledge of a specific software or tool, and that should be communicated in the job description. In addition, certain interpersonal skills, such as salesmanship, may be needed—and should be included in the job description.

There may be other certifications or skill sets needed, but keep in mind that skills can translate from other careers or military experience. For example, critical thinking, communication, data analysis, teamwork, adaptability, problem-solving, organization, leadership and other skills are applicable to any position. These soft skills matter, even in “hard” disciplines, such as technology, agronomy or animal science. A candidate will most likely be working with other humans, no matter what type of job they’re doing, and that’s where soft skills can make the difference.

In today’s tough job economy, a candidate might have all the right skills, but may not interview well. Interviews can be very anxiety inducing, and so a candidate may not perform their best in an interview, but is still fully capable of handling the job.

It’s also important for candidates not to oversell their skills, either. Some candidates might put foreign language abilities on a resume, when the reality is that the extent of their foreign language exposure was a couple of classes in high school. A candidate who is truly fluent and can use a foreign language in a business setting could share an example of when they successfully navigated a business situation in the other language—to the company’s benefit.

If your organization is looking to identify and hire the best candidates, contact Ag1Source.