Candidate sourcing

What aspects of a candidate should you consider other than degree classification?

Employers seeking new talent often place much emphasis on how well a given graduate candidate did on their degree course; and when we say ‘how well’, we are, of course, referring to the degree classification they gained.

But there’s more to a candidate than whether they got a first, 2:1, 2:2 or lower. Attempting to narrow down your applicants on this basis alone will likely cause you to overlook great talent, and make the whole candidate sourcing process longer.

So, what other candidate characteristics should be looking out for?


Cultural fit

This is a massive factor that strikes at the very foundation of your company. You should therefore keep it at the forefront of your thoughts when trying to pick the best candidates. Once you’ve established a strong sense of what your desired or current company culture is, consider whether the given applicant will make it easier for you to cultivate this culture in your workplace.



When you begin to ask the candidate for their thoughts on what your organisation does, do they seem excited? Is there a glint in their eye as they talk? Do they exude positive energy? These are all signs that when in post, the candidate would work longer and harder than someone with a merely medium-level passion about your vacancy.


Emotional intelligence

So, your applicant has proved a high level of academic intelligence through their degree classification. How does their emotional intelligence compare? Candidates with remarkable emotional intelligence exercise high levels of self-control, and are able to emphasise well with others. They also understand how their emotions impact others. In short, emotional intelligence is an absolutely vital trait to look for in a prospective recruit.



Did the interviewee come well-prepared? Do they already have a good level of knowledge about what your company does, gleaned from your website and other sources? If so, this indicates a worker who will also prepare themselves well to make significant contributions to your company from their first day on your payroll.



Your organisation doesn’t need to be based in an art, design or culture field to require creativity. Indeed, every firm needs employees with the ability to generate new, interesting and relevant ideas to enable the company to rise to new challenges and make fresh industry breakthroughs. That’s why you should ask each applicant how they would solve certain problems inherent to your company’s sector, and listen carefully to their answer.


Your firm’s candidate sourcing approach needs to bear an applicant’s academic or job history in mind, but many other elements must also be considered. A given candidate, after all, may bring something distinctive to your company that can’t be easily spotted when you simply look at their degree classification or past job titles.

Would you like to benefit from our suitably tailored know-how in candidate sourcing here at Webrecruit? If so, we would be pleased to discuss your requirements when you call us on 01392 829400 or send us an email.

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