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How Do Recruiters Choose the Best Candidates?

Published on: 24 Aug 2015

There are usually many factors involved when an employer selects a candidate for employment. As well as more generalized attributes, such as having the relevant skills, experience and qualifications, employers are also likely to use factors such as the likeability, personal connection and ambition of a candidate when finalizing their decisions.

However, there are a handful of universal things you can do to really give yourself every chance of being recruited by an employer, and the aim of this article is to highlight these different aspects of the selection process, in order that you can practice and improve upon them.

Remember, there is much more to the recruitment selection process than the four aspects we are about to discuss, but get these four things right, and you will be increasing your chances of employment substantially.

Your skills, qualifications and experience

  • Do you have the necessary skills for the role? - If you are going to be working predominantly in a small office, do you have the people skills required to work in this environment? This will have been apparent during the interview stage, and employers will use this observation to determine if you are a good 'fit' for their business.
  • Do you have the correct qualifications? - If a position requires a relevant certification or qualification in order for you to legally undertake it, is an employer really going to put you through the necessary training when they already have qualified candidates from which to choose? If you do not have the necessary qualifications, then your interview skills really do need to be drilled down in order to compensate for this shortfall.
  • Do you have the experience? - Experience is becoming more and more important to employers, and often overrides current skill-sets and qualifications. Employers basically want to employ somebody they can place straight into the role, with only minimal amounts of training and supervision required.

Are you in it for the long haul?

Employers do not want to hire somebody who has no intention of staying with the company in the long-term.

It is both expensive and time-consuming for employers to recruit, replace and train new employees on a regular basis, and this is one of the reasons why employers are beginning to prefer candidates with a proven work history at only 1-2 companies, as opposed to those who leave their roles every 6 months or so.

Put simply, if you have previously demonstrated your loyalty towards a previous role and business, employers are much more likely to think you will demonstrate the same amount of loyalty to their particular firm, increasing your chances of recruitment success considerably.

Your CV and cover letter

Yes, your CV does still matter to employers. Your CV and cover letter will often be the only determinants when it comes to selecting candidates for interview, and you therefore need them to be strong enough to make an impression.

However, once you have reached the interview stage, your CV will have done its job to a certain extent, and the majority of the selection process from then on will be all about you, and the impression you are able to make.

The only time that CV's really become important from thereon in is when employers cannot choose between two candidates who impressed them equally at the interview stage.

Therefore, take the time and effort to review and improve your CV/cover writing skills on a regular basis, and give yourself every advantage over the competition.


Last but not least, you need to ensure that you come across as personable, affable, and thoroughly likeable during every stage of the recruitment process.

Employers will use their observations of you to determine if you are a good fit for their particular business, whether or not you are 'customer-facing', and whether or not you are likely to spend as much time in the HR managers office as you do in your own.

Relax, be yourself, be warm and courteous to everybody you meet during the recruitment process, and you should have no problem at all in convincing your employer that you are the right person for the job.