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Perfect Candidates Don’t Just Grow on Trees

Ever hear the expression “perfect is the enemy of good?” It applies as much to hiring as to any other field.  

Finding the “perfect” candidate for your open position might be impossible. What’s more, holding out for the ideal applicant could cause you to miss out on excellent options. While you conduct a futile quest for someone that checks every possible box, the competition will snap up the top talent you ignore. 

So what should you do instead? There are a few steps you can take to prevent yourself from getting sidetracked by dreams of perfection: 

  1. Focus on key attributes 
  2. Look at the candidate as a whole 
  3. Consider the prospects for growth 

It’s true: perfect candidates don’t just grow on trees. However, with the right recruiting approach, you can find great candidates that can become perfect employees. Here are a few specific traits to keep in mind: 

Soft Skills

After making sure a candidate fits the minimum requirements for an open position, your attention should fall on their so-called “soft skills.” This list consists of those abilities your potential employee can bring to any role. They include things like: 

  • Organization 
  • Teamwork 
  • Leadership 
  • Communication 

A candidate with a loaded soft-skill portfolio can slot into almost any assignment. They can also work well within most organizations, meaning you’ll have the flexibility to mold them into the perfect employee for you. 


You might not have the perfect employee coming in the door. But you might be able to coach them to that point over time.  

Think about an applicant’s ability to learn. Don’t just gravitate toward the candidate that provides the best Day One prospect. That early performance might turn out to be their peak. 

Instead, look to the long term. Contemplate how receptive a potential employee will be to instruction. A coachable worker can prove a better asset over time, as they easily adapt to changing circumstances. 


Attitude matters in an employee. A passionate employee will bring their best performance every day and look to improve over time. What’s more, they can encourage better performances from people around them, as their enthusiasm becomes infectious. 

For that reason, consider the emotional component as well. You want someone who will boost your culture and bring a positive vibe to the office. Traits like passion and engagement become crucial considerations as you talk to your best candidates. 

Growth Potential 

You aren’t just hiring for the current job. Yes, you need your new employee to perform a particular set of tasks once they are hired. But, ideally, you also want someone who will stay with your organization for the long haul. That means you need someone with growth potential. 

How will this candidate grow with your company? What prospects do they have for promotion? What value will they bring 5 years from now? These questions should also be on your mind as you consider your hiring decision. 

Team-Building Fit 

Don’t just look at a candidate’s mix of skills and experience. Consider how those attributes will fit into the team you currently have.  

Think of a football team made up only of quarterbacks. It would have a hard time on defense. Or imagine a movie where every actor looked and behaved the same way. It would be pretty boring. 

Your new employee should add something to your current team. Search out abilities you might lack. At the same time, look for ways in which a potential employee could boost the performance of those around them. 

Ready to turn a great candidate into a perfect employee? First, you have to locate those high-skill, high-performance workers. Turn to a strong staffing agency, like Recruiting In Motion, to find the right fit for you. 

Contact Recruiting In Motion today to learn more. 

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