Recruiting Experts Weigh in On What Traits Make a Candidate Stand Out Most

There are some traits and characteristics that just seem to shine. While this is true in nearly every field or endeavor, it is especially so in the world of executive recruitment and retention. While some of these may vary widely given circumstance, industry, or demographic, we can easily identify a wide correlation of overlap, ranging from strong and confident body language to engaging speaking skills. There are some skills, however, that are highly sought after in executive arenas, and today we will be exploring some of those through the filter of two respected colleagues: individuals experienced and well-established in the field of executive recruitment.

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First, let us introduce our two featured guests who were kind enough to share their thoughts with us: David Perry, of Perry-Martel International Inc., and Nate Masterson, HR Manager of Maple Holistics.

Mr. Perry has been working with recruitment and executive retention for over 30 years and has authored several books (“Hiring Greatness: How to Recruit Your Dream Team and Crush the Competition and “Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters) which expound on the fields of marketing and hiring quality talent. His considerable experience stands to benefit anyone looking to understand the best methods toward gaining and maintaining a competitive advantage in a world that has, according to Mr. Perry, very nearly turned upside-down, from a business paradigm perspective.

In essence, he paints us a picture of previous decades being machine-centric, in terms of developmental management procedure, by which employees would have respective best practices laid out in clear and well-defined SOPs. This trend carried across several decades and laid deep roots. Now, however, Mr. Perry suggests that trend has nigh completely inverted, as we live in an increasingly knowledge-based economy (and society at large for that matter), which means that rather than rote and repetition being the keystones to an organization’s success, we now have human innovation as the most mission-critical factor.

Perry goes on to elaborate on the integral importance of developing creative thinking within a corporation: “One of the most effective ways to innovate is for two or more people to
combine their existing knowledge to produce something entirely new … There’s no telling what will emerge! For proof, look no further than companies like Apple (started by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak), Facebook (conceived by Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin), and Google (launched by Larry Page and Sergey Brin).”

While creativity and a business environment which fosters imaginative innovation is incredibly important, there is another factor that measures up to this bar as well, as Mr. Masterson tells us. That factor is one that, again, relates to and depends upon the individual corporate culture of a given organization to allow room for its development. Here, we are talking about innate intelligence, which is a highly dynamic prerequisite for success in almost any endeavor. A flexible intellect can be applied in unexpected (perhaps even unfamiliar) angles for unique solutions. A solid intelligence is among the first things that Masterson works to identify in potential candidates: “I always notice if a candidate asks intelligent questions during the interview, since that means that they have been listening. Being an attentive listener, and knowing how to make the most of the information provided, is key to being a good leader. If the Q and A part of an interview goes well, I know that I am speaking to someone who knows their business.”

In addition to these two central tenets of success—innate intelligence and creative innovation—several runners-up are certainly worthy of note: personal integrity, a strong moral (and business) compass, an indomitable persistence, and a fundamental resilience when dealing with the unexpected.

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Taking note of these fundamentals can help job seekers identify what traits to spotlight, while companies take note of the types of candidates who would most benefit their organization.

Fred Coon, CEO

Avoid hiring dilemmas with “Hire the EQ, Not the IQ – 150+ Questions to Help You Hire The ‘Right’ Fit”, and use Emotional Intelligence to choose the right people, from the start. Even better, you’ll save time and money while increasing productivity.