Recruiting Tips: How to Create an Ideal Candidate Profile

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As a hiring manager, you should always aim to hire top performers. They can, after all, increase overall company productivity, while they can introduce innovative methods and techniques in the workplace which could help push your business to become an industry leader. But, the problem many hiring managers often face is that recruiting such candidates is not straightforward. In fact, the recruitment process can be a rather complex one, especially if it’s not targeted. To get around this problem and find the right candidate you should make your recruitment strategy as focused as possible and to do that you should start by creating the profile of your ideal candidate.

There are many benefits to be gained from taking the time to sit down and come up with a detailed profile of the ideal candidate before you start writing the job description or posting on job boards. The process will be quicker and more efficient, and you’ll be able to ensure that the person is the right fit. You’ll also be able to write a much more effective job description to advertise the vacancy which in turn can result in better quality applications.

1. Understand what the candidate’s work duties will include

The first step to building the profile is to understand the duties that the new hire will be expected to perform and who they’ll need to answer to in their department. If you work in the HR department and are only responsible for the recruitment process, you might not be aware of the specifics of the position but to find the right person for the job you’ll need to find out more about this role. This means that you’ll need to do some digging to fully understand what obligations the selected individual will be expected to fulfil.

Talk to the manager of the department

To get a better idea of what the new hire will be expected to do, you should talk to the manager of their department. Ask them for a list of requirements (including academic achievements and professional skills that you’ll include in the job description), but also ask specific questions about what the chosen candidate will be expected to do.

For example, does their department need a new employee because the workload has increased or do they need someone new because the department is expanding to new areas? This will give you a better idea of the expected level of proficiency of the candidate, and help you to write a much more effective job description.

Talk to people in the department

You’ll often find that the best person to aid you in making the recruitment process as productive as possible is someone who’s already been through it and as such you should consider talking to other people in the department. Because they are currently doing the job, they’ll be able to offer you valuable insight. Make sure to ask details about their position as well as their feedback about qualities that their new colleague should possess.

Check out the competition

Apart from looking inwardly, however, you should also see what the competition is doing. Check your competitors’ vacancies and note what they list as requirements as this will allow you to make an effective comparison. If for example, you find that your requirements are very demanding you might want to reconsider, while if you find that theirs are much more demanding, you may want to add things that you are missing.

2. Focus on company goals

The idea behind creating the profile of your ideal candidate from scratch is to ensure that the person hired is a great fit for the company and as such, it’s always advisable to take into account the company goals as well. You need to determine why there’s a need to hire someone and what the company is hoping to achieve with this new hire.

Questions to help you focus on the company

1. What personality traits does your company culture value?

There’s a good chance that most people in the company share similar personality traits. It could be that you work in an office where most people are extroverts and where having fun in the workplace is encouraged; in this scenario hiring someone who’s too serious or sees the workplace as a strictly professional environment might be a bad decision. Not only would they find it hard to adjust, but the people within in the company would also have a hard time collaborating with this person.

2. What attitude should the successful candidate have?

Depending on the role they’ll be expected to fill, you should ensure that the person you hire has the right attitude. If your company is pushing to become an industry leader, then you need someone who’s not afraid to suggest new ideas or do different things as creativity and innovation are components of the go-getter attitude that you need. If on the other hand, you are already an established brand that’s looking to maintain its position then your chosen candidate should be able to reflect that need for constant improvement.

3. What are your company values?

For the recruitment process to be successful, you need to hire someone who not only fits in with the company culture but who also believes in your cause and shares your values. To do that you first need to determine what those values are and figure out ways to address them in the job description and refer to them during the job interview.

3. Identify key traits of potential candidates

After you’ve determined what the chosen candidate will be expected to do, it’s important to complete the profile by listing all the key traits the successful candidate should possess. This will not only help you create a better job description that will allow you to receive better applications, but it will also make the job interview process smoother as you’ll know what traits to look for to find the right candidate.

It’s important to look beyond qualifications and skills and look for traits that might not be easy to spot on a CV but will nonetheless make for a much better hire.

Excellent reputation

It’s important for your future candidate to have an impeccable character and for their reputation to precede them. You need to ensure that the person you decide to hire has a proven track record of achievements. Checking their references and looking for endorsements or even comments on their online profiles will go a long way to helping you understand what it’s really like to work with this individual.


Of course, you’ll never be able to know if the candidate of your choice is really competent until you hire them, but it’s important to ensure that their skills and qualifications aren’t just great on paper, but that they can also make the most of them. Generally speaking, you’ll find that competent professionals tend to include quantifiable achievements on their CV or cover letters.


Often underrated, or at least not stressed enough, intelligence is a key trait that any successful candidate should possess. It’s essential to effective problem-solving and managing one’s workload, and as such you should consider it as one of your top priorities when hiring someone. Choose someone who can think quickly on their feet, and you’re ensuring success for the company’s future.


Hiring someone that can be trusted is also very important as there’s a good chance that they’ll be handling client sensitive data or company information. Ensure that the person you hire is someone that you can trust not only by checking their references but by also trying to get to know them during their interview.

Independent thinking

The truth is that a good employee is someone who can make smart decisions and take the initiative without any guidance. Although everyone requires training at the beginning, it’s important to hire someone who’ll be able to make their own decisions and carry their own weight in the long run.


Apart from all the qualities that will make them great at their job, you should also take care to hire someone who’s pleasant to work with. You don’t want to hire someone that no one can talk to or that no one can ask for their assistance as this will break team spirit.

Creating your ideal candidate’s profile will help make the recruitment process smoother and more effective. To do this, you need to consider what skills and qualifications they should possess, where and how they’ll fit into the company, as well as determine what personality characteristics are essential. Keep in mind that finding a great cultural fit for the company will help make the new hire adjust easier to the workplace, as well as make the team members adapt faster.

Do you have any other questions about creating your next ideal hire’s profile? If you do, please let us know in the comment section below!