How to quickly identify top talent

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By The Fetcher Team

How to quickly identify top talent

8 mins read

Quickly identify top talent
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We asked company leaders and experienced recruiters, "How can recruiters identify top talent in the blink of an eye?"

From assessing a candidate’s confidence to looking for green flags in their experiences, these are effective ways that recruiters are recognizing and quickly honing in on top talent during the hiring process.

1. Judge a Candidate’s Confidence and Ability to Make Critical Decisions

In my recruiting experience, a subtle but important skill all top talent display is a knack for decision-making. The confidence to recognize problems, and quickly identify feasible options with the best possible outcomes indicates resourcefulness that only a few talented people can demonstrate.

In a fast-paced world, the ability to consolidate information and use this to make critical decisions could mean the difference between massive revenues and costly losses. In an interview, asking realistic but hypothetical questions that require a candidate to reach a certain decision and the candidate's willingness to ask follow-up questions is an effective way to evaluate their decision-making capacity.

Joe Coletta - Founder & CEO, 180 Engineering

2. Master Face-to-Face Interviewing

A lengthy application and hiring process can help many businesses gather information and provide useful data to sift through. It’s a good thought, but most job seekers are in a hurry and don’t want to spend a significant amount of time on their job hunt. Chances are you’ll get a more accurate assessment of a candidate with a face-to-face interview and by checking references. Thus, the application process should be brief so recruiters can quickly identify top talent.

Alex Wang - CEO, Ember Fund

3. Ask Candidates the Right Questions

Any recruiter can best identify top talent by asking the right questions. You could talk about multiple things, but the best idea is to ask questions that will provide a proving ground for candidates. For example, challenge them with a case study and ask about your company's latest actions - what they would change and their opinion about the organization's recent decisions.

This way, they will have a chance to show their communication skills and creativity, as well as prove if they're a good match for your organization and fit the candidate's profile you're looking for.

Monika Dmochowska - Talent Acquisition Leader, Tidio

4. Look for the Desire for Knowledge and Learning

Top performers tend to be top learners, so keep an eye out for continued education. Recent certifications and training are a major green flag for candidates. While some "education" sections on resumes only contain college degrees, the inclusion of extra courses is a sign that the candidate values growth and is likely to keep improving and seeking out knowledge even after obtaining a position at your organization.

Kate Duske - Editor in Chief, Escape Room Data

Get our tips for implementing a skills-based hiring strategy, so you can broaden your talent pool and recruit more underrepresented candidates!

5. Size Up the Candidate’s Personality from a Video Interview

One effective way to enlist talented individuals is to have a critical look at the hiring procedure and figure out the bottlenecks. Figuring out which actions are resulting in delays and how they could be improved. There are many technologies available that offer great alternatives to enhance the procedures and increase recruitment efficiency. The pre-selection method is perhaps the most time-consuming aspect of the overall hiring process.

One strategy that's been demonstrated is to enrich and advance this process by employing video recruitment. Video interviews allow recruiters to observe more candidates in a low amount of time while collecting all the required information about the candidates and recognizing the best talent. Video interviews enable you to emphasize more on the actual personality of the candidate and add an extra aspect of flexibility in the process for both the recruiter and candidate as well as the hiring manager.

Charlie Southall - Founder and CEO, Dragonfly

6. Look for a Demonstrated Trait of Adaptability

A recruiter must know how to separate the job seekers who have potential through their adaptability skills from those who are made up of words. The resume of the job seekers must reflect the exposure they have gained through adaptation to new methods of achieving the organizational goal effectively and efficiently. It must also reflect how well they adapted to the situation, which was pressurizing many others like them.

Jeremy James, Founder and CEO, Blue Water Climate Control

7. Assess Candidate’s Ability to Explain Complexities in Simple Terms

Everyone can know things but only a few can explain those in simple terms. Anyone who can synthesize complex information into a simpler form without diluting the meaning would have higher intelligence, thereby would do well in jobs. Whenever you interview candidates, spot the right ones by demanding simpler answers to complex questions.

Andrew Griffith - Owner, Garden Furniture

8. Check How Clear and Specific the Candidate Expresses Their Previous Experience

As a recruiter who is screening resumes in the droves daily, there is one key thing I look for when qualifying a candidate’s experience briefly - clear, concise, and specific references to the daily duties and systems used. Directly mentioning quantifiable responsibilities leaves less ambiguity and presumptive thoughts made by myself and the hiring managers alike. There is a fine line between giving too much detail and leaving it out! Changing a generic one-liner of “ability to multitask” to “maintained multiple projects while adhering to scheduled deadlines” can set resumes apart from those that gloss over various topics.

Robina McCormick - Corporate Recruiter, West Shore Home

9. Get a Feel of the Candidate’s Personality From LinkedIn

Has someone filled out the “About Me” section of their LinkedIn page with a pithy, tantalizing description? Is that person active on the platform and posting meaningful content? LinkedIn is more than a social media platform for business-minded people. It’s really a reflection of a person’s personality and business activity. It’s almost like an interactive resume.

You can see what the candidate follows and likes and what their strengths are simply by glancing at their LinkedIn page. It doesn’t tell the whole story, but it says a lot. Job candidates should try to give potential recruiters an eyeful whenever they update their LinkedIn profiles.

Erik Rivera - Co-Founder, USA Rx

10. Hone Your Skills From Building Professional Relationships and Networks

There is a war on talent in this market. The best way to identify top talent in the blink of an eye comes from the years of work done prior by building networks, relationships, and understanding a professional's skills, goals, and interests.

It's all too common for candidates to have their inbox flooded with emails about opportunities, but investing 10-15 minutes into a conversation or video call upfront helps open the door for future conversations and ensure you are presenting relevant opportunities that suit their goals and aspirations. This upfront work goes a long way to form trust, but you also need to learn about the industry you are recruiting in to be an expert in the space and become a respectable resource.

Vincent Guido - Recruiter, Intel

11. Use Regular Check-ins With the Hiring Manager to Help You Envision the Right Candidates

Do your groundwork with the hiring manager at the start. Have one-hour-long, in-depth HR Intake meetings where you let them dream about their ideal candidate, reflect on past employees, talk about the need of the role, how it affects the bottom line, how it helps them, and what the current team is like. This gives you the exact specifications to look out for in candidates- there is no guesswork! Also throughout the recruiting process, keep checking in with the hiring manager and be ready to pivot. Your hiring manager is your best friend in identifying top talent.

Sangeetha Shankar - Sr. Corporate Recruiter, Allworth Financial

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