Accessability Links

You’re Hired – The Recruiter’s Guide to What Makes a Good Candidate

The Apprentice is back on our screens and – judging by the social media comments we’ve seen – the Candidates are as narcissistic and downright deluded as ever.


While teams "Titans" and "Nebula" have been distinctly unimpressive in the tasks they have been dealt so far (the “Jeans” marketing assignment being a particularly excruciating highlight), they are back to business with the ego-loaded soundbites that The Apprentice has become famous for.

This got us thinking – what does make a special candidate?

Does comparing yourself to an emperor, lion, shark or field of ponies really make you a standout candidate? What about refusing to shave your eyebrow or walking your own separate superhighway? Or owning a designer suitcase on wheels?

We decided to ask some of our Technology and Energy Recruitment Consultants in the UK and the US what makes a great candidate within their verticals. Our teams view literally thousands of CVs and LinkedIn profiles each day and know what it takes to stand out in the job market.

Surprisingly, the ability to laugh in unison at the boss’ scripted jokes isn’t mentioned once..


Mario Michaels

Mario Michaels, Managing Consultant - DevOps, Security & Support

For me a good candidate demonstrates the ability to carry out not only the BAU tasks but also get involved with developing strategies, projects and troubleshooting.

Alongside this, softer skills are just as important, so a reliable, trustworthy, and meticulous individual with excellent communication skills and an ability to build relationships both internally and externally is imperative.



Jay Guney, Lead Consultant - Front End Development

My ideal candidate for Front End Development roles is able to give an in depth, logical and structured involvement to their past / present projects – not just from a technical perspective, but from their specific role within the team.

They are also able to supply demonstrable work examples whilst able to explain and define the technical / technological input behind the app / website / software.



Colin Frontczak, Lead Consultant - Senior Appointments

In my experience recruiting for Senior Appointments across the UK, being approachable is essential. Often these roles involve managing people, but also involve a lot of business-facing work.

Clear and concise communication skills are also much-desired by many employers in order to keep their team engaged and invested in the candidate's messages.



Laetan Gaspard, Senior Consultant - Energy

For me, I need my candidates to be extremely responsive.

The Recruitment process for Field Staff can sometimes move very quickly, so having candidates return calls and emails quickly is essential as the hiring managers will sometimes have no problem moving on to the next candidate.

I also need someone that is very specific about the certifications that they hold, as some of them vary by state, and some of them vary by other properties.

For instance, a certification can be from the same institute, and have the same name, but there is a difference between a lab and field certification, and then that can be broken down into different materials (concrete, soils, aggregates, asphalt, etc.). So just in that instance, that certification could really be 8 certifications between the different materials and whether they are for the field or lab.

Certain job sites are regulated by government agencies, or picky clientele, and there are many times when someone can’t even step on to a project without a specific certification (Field- Asphalt, or Lab-Aggregates for example).

A good candidate is very detail oriented with this, and makes it VERY clear which ones they hold, which ones have lapsed, and where they are in terms of progress to receiving any additional ones. Many of my clients will make contingent offers (if you receive a certain license or certification within six months from the date of hire, etc.), so I need the candidates to have all of this tracked, because there is no way for me to track a majority of it.



Simon Dodd, Lead Consultant - Open Source Development

A great candidate in my vertical would of course be able to cope with the technical requirements of the role, but beyond that I look for enthusiasm, eagerness to learn and a passion for their chosen field.