I have never seen the perfect candidate

With all that is going on at the moment, it makes one a bit thoughtful. So I have put pen to paper, or should I say fingers to keyboard and given you my thoughts on something that is entirely not about the big C! 
In all my years of recruiting, either as a recruiter or as a business manager directly recruiting myself, I have never seen the perfect candidate. 
What is the perfect candidate anyway? 

31 March 2020

I have heard it described as many things and more often than not the requirement is for all of them; the person that has everything on the job description, the one that will slip straight into the team, who will hit the ground running, will be billing from day one and so on… In reality, hardly anyone has everything on the job description as they haven’t worked for your company before, team dynamics change when you add in a new person, no-one can hit the ground running as they need to warm up first and get to know your business and to be revenue-generating from day one does not instil a sense of someone who really cares about the longevity of your company.  
We all attribute our own meanings to descriptive words and so surely what is ‘perfect’ must be a subjective thing, unique to each one of us and even changeable from day to day? And if it is so unique then finding that person may be impossible or at least, very hard, costly and time-consuming. 
Ultimately, what businesses are looking for is the person that is going to help fix their business need and be an asset to the company, which makes ‘perfect’ business sense! 
But here’s the thing, that person doesn’t need to be perfect. What they need to have are the attributes and potential to become perfect. Through effective leadership, proper training and guidance they can be moulded into your perfect employee, exactly, not just an off the peg number.  
But finding the perfect candidate is something that many hiring managers and even some recruiters zero in on when conducting the recruitment process and this severely limits your choices.  The more ticks in the boxes that are required the more black and white it becomes but people are not black and white, they are an infinite amount of shades of grey. 
Instead, we should be looking at recruiting the right candidate. Not by judging them purely on past performance, as this is no guarantee of future success and will mean you could be overpaying for the wrong person but, by seeking out their potential as at the end of the day this is what will make the difference to your business.  
So how do you measure someone’s potential? I have learnt that someone’s past experience gives you an insight into who they are but you listen for their potential in how they come across, how they answer the questions, their actions and reading between the lines. It is more of, a touchy-feely thing, a gut feeling that comes from properly understanding your client, their business, the team, the role and what is expected of this person all wrapped up in plenty of experience.  
There are many great candidates out there that could be the ‘right’ one for your business. Be prepared to look into the shades of grey to find them. 
Flexology provides recruitment, training and consultancy services, we’re proving that flexible working attracts the brightest & best candidates. If you're looking to make a move into a fulfilling role that gives you the right amount of flex or are a business keen to open up your pool of potential talent and improve diversity or require advice on flexible working then please contact me, lena@flexology.co.uk / 0117 214 1224 /​ www.flexology.co.uk