Are You Overlooking a Diamond in the Rough While Recruiting?


What do Charlize Theron, John Wayne and Natalie Portman have in common? They all lacked any industry experience when they were discovered. Though you’re not recruiting future Oscar winners for your office, there’s a lesson to be learned: Direct experience isn't everything. Always keep an eye peeled for that "diamond in the rough."

There are some candidates who don’t necessarily stand out on paper. They also might not perfectly match every last qualification listed on your job description or may get a bit tongue-tied during interviews, due to nerves or sheer inexperience. However, when put to the test, these workers could well outperform all expectations.

Here are five recruiting tips to help ensure you don't let a diamond in the rough slip past you.

1. Look within

Before you begin the hiring process, consider the qualities of your current top-performing employees. What makes them ideal admins? Which of their traits do you value the most? Make a list of those qualities, and keep them in mind when you start recruiting. For example, during interviews, gauge candidates' tact and diplomacy when asked why they want to leave their current employer. Ask candidates about their ethics and what motivates them, and assess their dress and demeanor, to be sure they'd be a good fit in the role.      

2. Don't rule out on-the-job training

Writing an accurate job description is a critical part of recruiting top talent. See OfficeTeam's Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Writing Great Job Descriptions.



Everyone has a dream candidate, and you may find applicants who possess all the skills and experience you're looking for. On the flip side, you’ll also come across many who don’t completely fit the job description. Before you actively begin the hiring process, get very clear on which skills are must-haves, and which are "nice-to-haves." If you’re willing to do some onsite training, you can take a chance on hiring a candidate who shows enormous potential, but may lack a skill or two.

3. Go beyond the resume

While resumes are an important factor in evaluating candidates, they don’t always provide the best picture of the job applicant. Of course, you don't want someone who’s prone to typos or comma abuse sending emails to your clients. However, some people just aren’t great at writing resumes. If you come across a resume with writing that doesn’t blow your hair back, but with qualities that raise your eyebrows, it might be worth calling in that candidate for an interview.

4. Dig deeper in the interview

For many applicants, interviews are the most nerve-racking part of the hiring process, especially if they’ve been in the job market for a while. A good interviewer will always try to put a candidate at ease, but some people will simply be too nervous to open up completely. To lessen the risk of passing over candidates with stellar potential, build a skill assessment into the interview. For example, you can ask candidates to complete a brief work sample in Word or Excel to help gauge their abilities. You might end up dazzled by their competency, if not by their interview skills.

5. Go with your gut

Intuition is often undervalued on the part of hiring managers. If you’ve got a strong feeling about a candidate who has a less-than-amazing resume or was slow to warm up in the interview, it may be worth the extra time and effort to schedule a second interview with another member of your team. A second opinion can be invaluable during the recruiting process. 

When you’re recruiting, don’t be instantly discouraged by factors like “just-okay” resumes or a lack of skills that could be taught later. This is not to say you should ignore obvious red flags. But if you're willing to look beyond the paper profile and get to know the person, you may land your office’s next administrative star.

Need help recruiting top talent for key admin positions in your organization? Reach out to OfficeTeam today.


Call us at 1.844.852.6405


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