Today's Viewpoint: A MarshBerry Publication


Identifying your ideal candidate prior to hiring efforts can save resources and time, allowing qualified candidates and recruiters greater insight into the desired role attributes such as, experience, soft skills and location.  

In this competitive labor market having the right plan for identifying the right candidates may make all the difference in your successful hire rate. Whether you’re planning for growth and are creating new positions, or you need to plan for staff retirements and turnover, it’s important to spend time introspecting on the ideal candidate before posting a job and receiving applicants.

Many of MarshBerry’s talent clients have previously taken the “post and pray” approach. (i.e., post the job on LinkedIn, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter, to “see what’s out there”). Time and time again the results are inconsistent, because of the loose applicant screening qualifiers which prolongs the search time due to the hiring team’s disagreements on candidate fit. Ultimately, there is reputational risk for the firm as candidates share their interview experiences on sites like Glassdoor, Fairygodboss, and other employer rating forums.    

In 2022, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported the average cost per hire is around $4,700 in hard costs for things like real-estate on job boards, personality assessments, background checks, and more.1 However, the soft costs are much greater. How much time is your recruiter spending screening or soliciting candidates? How much time are teammates spending away from their jobs interviewing candidates? The time and collaboration required for hiring a teammate can be staggering if you consider the salaries of your hiring team and the opportunity cost of spending time away from revenue generating activities. This is all the more reason to plan before you post your next requisition.

Defining your ideal candidate

Here are three categories to consider when imagining the ideal candidate profile. By identifying and targeting these areas you can fine tune your candidate pool for quicker results and less recruitment expense.

  1. Experience. The number of years in a specified field obtaining specific on the job experience can greatly contribute to the success and fit for your new hire. For example, do you have someone on your team today that can train younger talent only a couple years out of college? If not, consider increasing the years of experience for a more independent new hire. Additionally, identifying specialized training and education background can be important tools for success, but be judicious when considering these as requirements to avoid shrinking your talent pool to little-to-no candidates. For instance, it can be preferable for your candidate to have a license or training from their prior role, but a new hire could acquire the same license or training as a part of their onboarding goals.
  2. Soft Skills. What soft skills does each position need to be successful in their role and a cultural fit for your firm? At MarshBerry, it’s key for each new teammate to be more of a collaborator as opposed to an independent contributor regardless of the role. In general, sales professionals should be “self-motivated and resilient” while service and support staff should have “strong time management and problem-solving soft skills.”  
  3. Location. Has your office adopted a remote or hybrid work structure or are teammates required to be in the office five days a week? More than ever before, candidates are asking about the requirement to commute to an office. In fact, a Gallup survey in June of 2022 found that eight in 10 people are working hybrid or remote, while only two in 10 are entirely on-site.2 Identifying the location(s) of where you want new talent, their requirements to be in the office, and your appetite for flexibility should be communicated to the hiring team and candidates sometimes as early as the job post to avoid wasted time with candidates outside of your firm’s desires. 

Take it a step further once you’ve dialed into the ideal candidate’s experience, soft skills, and location. Write it down. Share the parameters with the hiring team before their interviews. Use these qualifiers for all future hires for the same position. It does take extra effort to create the ideal profile up-front, but the outcomes can be reused and will save your firm time and money in the long run.

If you have questions about Today’s ViewPoint or would like to discuss how to improve your firm’s recruitment strategies, please email or call Brooke Lugonjic, Senior Vice President, at 616.828.0741. 


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