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Why the ‘ideal’ candidate may not be who your business needs

HR News |  13/04/2017
Why the ‘ideal’ candidate may not be who your business...Knowing what you're looking for when hiring a new employee is an important part of finding the right candidate, no matter what the position. More often than not, this equates to aspects like experience and duties, with heavy focus being placed on these throughout the recruitment process.

However, while having the desired level of experience may signal that a candidate is right on paper, it does not necessarily mean that they are, in fact, the ideal person for the job. Having what looks like the perfect CV does not mean that an individual is everything you are looking for.

When it comes to the needs and future of your business, it isn't just about experience. Any individual that you take on needs to work with the existing company, be able to relate to clients and have the potential to create the best possible results. So what is it that you should be looking for from the ideal candidate beyond their skills?


It is hard to define what type of personality will work within your company and the interview process isn't always the best environment to see what a candidate is really like. However, hiring someone with a personality that is likely to work within the team you already have is just as important as them having the required skills for the position.

Personality clashes can result in workplace tension, a fall in productivity, personnel issues and a higher turnover of staff, all of which can cost money and have a broader effect on your company. 

Hiring someone that you believe will fit into the business and with existing staff usually works out better than taking on a candidate who ticks all the boxes but who may well clash with other individuals. Even if they don't have as many transferable skills as another candidate, a personality match is a benefit that should be given more credence.


Experience is always a good thing when hiring for a position, and there will be certain skills that a candidate needs to have for a role. This doesn't necessarily mean that extra experience or the exact skills are the best option and represent the ideal candidate.

A key part of employee retention is offering a role that is challenging, has regular training and the opportunity for progression. These will ensure workers feel like they have a future at the company and a route to follow for progression. 

However, hiring someone with essentially too much experience and too many skills for a position could mean that it is a sideways move for them and so the role won't be as challenging for an individual who has to learn on their feet. They may also expect progression sooner and so be on the lookout for other opportunities elsewhere, meaning you need to go through the recruitment process again. 

More to offer

Candidates that have something more or different to offer could be the ideal option for your company, even if they don't have all the experience you've mentioned in the job description. Certain skills may not seem like they are required for the role you're filling, but they could very well be transferable and provide a new opportunity for your business.

Considering other aspects of a candidate's CV beyond the experience relevant to the position could show you what else an individual might be able to achieve, as well as give an indication about the type of person they are. For example, they may be lacking in experience in one area of the role they are applying for but have skills in another area of the business, which could mean a better ability to work cross-departmentally. 

Businesses that want to hire the best people for the job should aim to dismiss the idea of an 'ideal' candidate and look beyond the areas of a CV that only relate to the position being applied for.

By Jon Aspinell

Ashdown Accountancy RecruitmentADNFCR-1914-ID-801834711-ADNFCR
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