Top 7 Skills to Look For in Candidates For Your Hiring Strategy

Andre Oentoro

89% of HR professionals agree that there's a constant need for employee training. This is a result of many workers lacking basic work skills. No doubt, skilled employees are the cornerstone of a successful business. However, beyond their experiences and accomplishments, there are inherent skills you must look out for before hiring interested candidates.

Candidates with these skills have strong potential for boosting your company's growth and revenue. Note that these skills are not role specific. Therefore, irrespective of the available position, you must seek these skills in candidates before hiring them. Teamwork and communication, for example, are part of these skills. They are a plus for any candidate, regardless of the role they're applying for.

Aside from the skills named above, there are many other skills every candidate must possess to contribute significantly to your organization. This article discusses the top 7 skills you must look out for in candidates before hiring them.


Communication is one vital skill you must look out for in candidates before hiring them. It is essential as candidates with good communication skills understand and execute tasks better.

Checking their listening and writing prowess is an excellent way to test candidates' communication skills. Candidates with great listening skills receive information better; likewise, candidates with strong writing skills respond to emails and give feedback better.

Another reason communication skill tops this list is that it is essential for organizational teamwork. With good communication skills, information flow within the organization will be enhanced.


You must look out for this essential quality when hiring candidates. Teamwork is essential to any job environment; ensuring your workforce consists of people with solid teamwork skills will benefit your company in many ways. Candidates with strong teamwork spirit will work well with the other members, relate harmoniously and perform more effectively.

Furthermore, a great teamwork spirit makes employees typically produce higher-quality products and services as they provide feedback on each other's ideas. Ultimately, this brings significant growth to your business as a whole.


One top skill you should pay attention to as a recruiter is the problem-solving skill. A good way to determine if a candidate has this skill is to set Excel interview question examples with real-life instances. This will enable you to check how they would analyze complex situations and manage them.

The problem-solving skill enables employees to pinpoint and address problems without difficulty. The skill is crucial for the everyday running of the organization – for employers and employees alike. Recruiting candidates with impressive problem-solving prowess makes the daily activities of a company easy. This, in turn, boosts the company's productivity and efficiency.

Time management and prioritization

Time management and prioritization skills are highly sought-after skills by recruiters in candidates. The reason for this is that persons that possess them handle tasks more effectively. They know what to do at the right time to ensure maximum productivity.

For example, candidates with this skill will finish tasks faster as they'll prioritize your task over their pleasure. With time management and prioritization skills, employees can tackle organizational hurdles efficiently.

Time management skill is not only expertly about juggling tasks and achieving company goals; it is also about knowing when to take a break. An employee that knows their limits and how to take a break to prevent burnout from work is invaluable.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking helps employees to analyze and think through difficult situations. It is similar to decision-making but different. While critical thinking allows candidates to diagnose the problem, decision-making will enable candidates to decide on the solution.

This skill is a must for organizations that offer innovative products and services. Critical thinkers come up with fresh ideas, try new things and find ways to improve the organization. Without critical thinkers, organizations will remain stagnant due to a lack of innovation.


Having initiative is a great skill to look out for when hiring staff for your business. Whether taking on an extra project or volunteering to be part of a team, employees who show initiative always stand out.

People who take the initiative tend to stay at jobs longer and are more valuable employees. When people with initiative see a task needing completion or someone looking for assistance with a task, they don't hesitate to lend a hand. Surely, these are people you need on your team.


After mastering game-changing techniques to improve the adoption of your product or service, you need to keep your creativity flowing. That's why you need creative employees. Creativity is the ability of an employee to come up with ideas that will make the company stand out and become more successful.

Candidates with creative skills are more productive and proactive. It is vital to have a well-rounded group of people who can come up with new ideas and bring their own perspectives to the table. This makes business operations smoother, leading to the company's rapid growth.

Also, creativity is an essential skill in business. Individuals who possess the creativity skill think outside the box and explore new solutions when it comes to problem-solving. A creative person would generate more innovative ideas than someone without the skill.

Also, creative people are usually energetic. They can multitask and jump from one project or idea to another without getting frustrated or bored. These qualities make them invaluable assets in any workplace, especially during periods of intense pressure.

Hiring strategies to help you recruit top talent

Every recruiter needs a hiring strategy to make identifying, attracting and hiring the best talents easy. You can begin by using a recruitment agency or posting vacancies on job boards when looking for suitable candidates for a job role. Also, the use of recruitment tools can make the process seamless. Here are some hiring strategies to implement in your organization.

Use social media

The use of social media to advertise and recruit talent for your organization is known as social recruiting. Many notable brands like Apple employ social recruiting to find and recruit suitable candidates. However, before deciding on this recruitment strategy, it's important that your organization has a social media presence. Brands that are active on social media are seen as credible and will be taken seriously by potential candidates.

To build your social media presence, share pictures and videos of recent events in your company. Ensure that your content is in line with your brand's values. Likewise, you can ask employees to post job openings on their social media accounts.

Have an attractive job description

A job description that draws people in is vital in any recruitment process. Not only does a job description tell applicants what to expect from the role, but it also helps them determine whether the job is for them. Here are some tips to help you create a compelling job description.

  • Highlight the major responsibilities and daily activities of the successful candidate
  • Be specific with the title of the job role
  • Create a captivating overview of the job

Treat candidates like clients

How candidates view your organization is crucial. Therefore, it's essential to give a good first impression by showing them you're interested in knowing them. Irrespective of how the interview is being conducted, whether online or in person, treating your candidates like clients help them feel relaxed.

Show your candidates you appreciate them by doing the following:

  1. Being hospitable

Acting hostile or rude to your candidates is off-putting and gives a wrong impression of your organization. If it's a physical interview, offer candidates a drink and politely answer any questions they may have.

  1. Respecting their time

Take up less time when interviewing a candidate. If you'll be late for the interview, reschedule or inform the candidate earlier.

Implementing employee referrals

Allowing current employees to refer qualified candidates is another tactic to use during recruitment. You can offer rewards and incentives to make them participate in the referral program. For instance, you can offer bonuses or gift cards to employees that refer qualified candidates.

Hiring top talent is crucial to your organization's growth

Finding a suitable candidate for an opening in your organization is challenging, especially if candidates are numerous, underqualified or overqualified for the position. However, it gets worse when you need to figure out what to be on the lookout for.

Not anymore, though. Discussed here are the top 7 skills to look out for when hiring. These skills are communication, teamwork, problem-solving, time management and prioritization, critical thinking, initiative and creativity. Have persons with these skills on your team and watch your business boom.

To hire right, however, looking out for top skills is not enough; you must also deploy some time-tested strategies. They include using social media, having an attractive job description, treating candidates like clients, and implementing employee referrals.

Moyofade Ipadeola is a Content Strategist, UX Writer and Editor. Witty, she loves personal development and helping people grow. Mo, as she’s fondly called, is fascinated by all things tech.

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Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).


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