What must Human Resource Professionals Look for in Candidates Applying in 2022?

Hiring an employee is not just an operational activity for HR professionals but a strategic initiative affecting the entire organization. Not only can a bad hire be costly to the business, but it can also affect the company’s current workforce. As the saying goes, “One bad apple spoils the barrel.” It is better for a vacant role to remain open rather than hiring the wrong candidate. The new normal of the labour market may make it difficult for hiring professionals to find the best suitable candidates. Here are the top skills they should strive to identify.


Culture Fit. This is one of the most essential aspects that hiring managers should look for in a candidate. Every organization has some dominant values and norms that its founders or owners have shaped. Culture is what makes people understand their identity as an organization.For different business circumstances, it specifies the type of behaviour that is encouraged. Organizational culture defines the “way we do things around here” in the firm, especially regarding how employees communicate and relate with each other, customers, or other external stakeholders.

A study at the University of Iowa reveals that culturally fit candidates showed higher job satisfaction and better performance. Furthermore, candidates who fit culturally in the organization tend to stay longer and have higher levels of commitment. To understand a candidate’s cultural fit , hiring managers should ask them what type of culture they will succeed in or what principles and values they love and uphold. Finally, evaluate the candidates’ work ethic and norms and give them a realistic culture preview by touring them in the office to see how employees interact and collaborate.


Teamwork.  Teamwork is a critical skill regardless of whether a candidate is being interviewed as a senior executive or an intern. It’s a skill applicable to all types of careers in the organization. Bringing in a new employee who loves working in silos will be challenging to manage and eventually ruin the firm’s team synergy. Agile organizations’ capability to innovate and deliver superior products and services is distinguished by the ability of their people to collaborate and achieve their goals through teamwork. Teamwork is the ability to work well with others, often displayed through cooperation. When members of a team show empathy, respect, trust, and support towards each other, it creates a unique working environment where people actively participate and thrive to achieve a common goal.

Recruiters can ask candidates about a team project they had been involved with. This question will provide an overview of the type of initiatives that the candidate had participated in their work. Then probe on what contributions they had played and how they handled a challenging team member. Hiring Managers should also ask the candidate to describe their experience on how well they collaborated and showcased their trust and cooperation with others. Asking them about the quality of their working relationships with their colleagues will show managers how well the candidate will relate with others. These questions will reveal not just their teamwork skill but also understand their ability to build positive and productive relationships in the organization.


Adaptability. Nowadays, every organization faces an uncertain, highly competitive, and disruptive work environment. The rapid pace of change and innovation brought about by the advancement of technology and other external forces creates a constantly changing organizational landscape. For instance, the recent COVID-19 pandemic did not just change the way we work, but it changed how organizations value their employee’s health and well-being.

Such unprecedented patterns call for adaptability and resilience. Candidates with a growth mindset who recognize their need to learn and adapt to their organization’s ever-changing environment will be the ones who will thrive and succeed. Moreover, flexible employees are more innovative and tend to explore various work approaches rather than accept the conventional work method allowing them to embrace change as a regular part of their lives.


Problem-Solving.  The organization expects its employees to solve its most pressing issues. Effectively identifying a problem and its causes and solving it effectively is a crucial skill that recruiters look for in job applicants. Elon Musks, the world’s richest entrepreneur, suggests that he pays employees based on their ability to solve complex problems. With the constant change in the business environment, which can present several organizational problems, issues, and challenges, problem-solving has never been a more critical skill for employees.

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