In the search for top talent, every recruiter prefers an informed candidate. Why? Informed candidates make the hiring process easier by asking smarter questions, doing the necessary research about your organisation, and tailoring their expectations to the role they are applying for. In fact, candidates who inform themselves on jobs and companies using Glassdoor are two times more likely to be hired than job seekers from other sources. (1)
So how can these job-seeking unicorns be spotted? Here are a number of indicators that signal an informed candidate is in your application pipeline - for more, download the Ultimate Screening Checklist.
1. They came to you through employee referrals or high quality recruiting channels
Every year, employee referrals top the list as a source of new talent for employers. In 2016, 30% of all hires were a result of employee referrals, according to the Society for Human Resources Management. This is no accident: employee referrals are one of the most reliable sources for informed candidates. One reason for this is that your employees share your goal in wanting to recommend a good candidate - it makes them look good, brings their friend or acquaintance to the company, and sometimes even gives them a monetary boost for a successful referral. In addition, referred candidates are often better informed because they have a friend who can fill them in on the 'ins and outs' of the company, both before the interview and during the onboarding process. Referred candidates also save hiring time in the long run: it's been shown in multiple studies that referred candidates have a higher retention rate. A 2015 study in the Quarterly Journal of Economics showed that in high-tech jobs, referred candidates are 26% less likely to quit.
2. Their CV is tailored to match the job's description
In today's digitised job application process, candidates can send out a flurry of job applications with just a few clicks of a button. High-quality candidates, however, will spend time tailoring their CV to fit the organisation and the specific job description. One place to look for this is in the candidate's statement or objective section. Statements that are bland and can fit any job show a lack of thoughtfulness, while a statement that clearly is aligned with the goals of the company and the role is a strong sign that this is an informed candidate. In addition, the presence of relevant industry keywords shows that they are familiar with the industry and know how to use the terminology.
3. They have a clear understanding of the role they're applying to
When the applicant has a firm understanding of the role they've applied to, time is saved for both the candidate and the employer. The applicant's CV and cover letter, as well as the questions they ask during the interview, are the best indicators for determining whether the candidate has really thought about how their experience qualifies them for each aspect of the role. At the same time, it is your duty as an employer to follow best practices for writing a job description to clearly communicate the duties and expectations.
4. They ask about recent company news or product developments
Before coming in for an interview, any competent candidate should have conducted research on the company's recent developments. Furthermore, asking questions shows that they have not only invested time in bulking up their knowledge on the company, but are also invested in getting to know the company on a deeper level.
(1) Based on app-to-hire ratios in a 2015 study of 30 million applicants from a leading third-party recruitment agency