The most important attributes when recruiting

We all know that recruitment isn’t just about what’s written on a CV. In fact, although they’re a great starting point for narrowing down a field of speculative applications, if we hired by CV alone, we’d make a lot of really terrible decisions. They’re just not a reliable indicator of suitability. We need to trust our instincts about potential performance against some other key factors.

Through my experience in the recruitment industry, I’ve come to realise that there are three key indicators for making sure I select the right person for the job: personality & attitude and what I call the candidate offer.

Character goes a long way

I strongly believe that all hiring managers should recruit for personality and train for skills, not the other way around. If an individual demonstrates the right personality characteristics, that will deliver much better results for you and your business in the long run than skills alone.

That’s especially true if those traits are accompanied by a can-do attitude. At interview (and even on a CV, to a lesser extent), you should be on the lookout for signs of a positive approach as well as honesty and integrity.

You’ll get a sense of this from the way candidates talk about how they fulfilled their biggest achievements. Exactly what did they need to overcome to get such a great outcome?

The other clues to attitude come not from what people say but from how they appear at interview. You need to be hunting for the visual clues in the way they’ve dressed for this important meeting, the facial expressions they use and the body language they employ. Do they look interested in what you’re saying? Are they looking you in the eye or staring down at the carpet? Your assessment of how they interact with you is a crucial part of the hiring process.

Soft skills and self-awareness score highly

When it comes to candidate offer, you’re trying to understand what each individual can uniquely bring to your workplace. This is about more than simply the practical skills to do the job they’re applying for. Perhaps they have a range of soft skills, like teamworking, customer service or leadership qualities, that would benefit your business. Ask about strengths and weaknesses too. You want to gauge their self-awareness and desire to improve. It’s also a good sign if they’ve researched your business and come armed with their own relevant questions.

Finally, a word of advice:

Don’t think that it’s purely down to the candidate to spell all this out for you, unprompted. It’s your job to help uncover these critical attributes by asking the right questions during an interview. There’s really no point in playing the ‘bad cop’ role. After all, you do want to hire the very best person available, don’t you?

Good luck,


Salon owners keen to get their vacancies seen by some of the best health and beauty talent around should contact Stefania via her recruitment business,, or email Stefania directly,