You’ve defined the job description you have some idea of the talent pool you’ve identified as likely to interview  Now it is critical to gear every aspect of the hiring process toward your vision of the ideal candidate.

Take the time to define the character of the perfect hire  What are the required skills, competencies and behaviors you want to see in your employee? Keeping in mind that every effective employee brings more to the table than a simple set of skills. Consider how the new hire can potentially add strength  flexibility and responsiveness to your team.

Use the job description as the basis for the responsibilities and skill sets required for the position  List the skills  training  experience  knowledge base  talents and abilities associated with the requirements indicated in the job description  Consider the values characteristics  personality and professional habits or behaviors that further reflect your ideal candidate  Take into account both attributes  as well as behaviors such as strong communication skills and agreeable manner of speaking. Consider what can be learned and what can’t be learned  Think about what will motivate and drive your ideal candidate.

Pre-hire assessment of your specific needs and the competencies required for the job will help you establish an “ideal candidate profile ” If you are filling an existing position  consider how previous employees have performed in the job  Identify the success factors and note any areas that were in need of improvement. What were the strengths and weaknesses involved in the role before?

Determine expectations: what do you expect the person in the position to accomplish? By creating a “wish list” of what consti- tutes your ideal candidate  you will be better able to hire some- one who most closely meets your “perfect employee” picture Many intangibles come into play when defining your ideal candi- date.

The following are some attributes to consider when creating your ideal employee wish list:

•   Leadership

•   Client service

•   proactive or reactive

•   Follow-up

•   Communication

•   Organization

•   People skills

•   project management

•   Sense of urgency

•   Attention to detail

•   positive attitude

•   Teamwork

Keep in mind the need to be realistic Creating your ideal candidate profile is not about turning “nice-to-have” characteristics into “must- haves ” It’s using your experience with top performers to determine a systematic thorough list of attributes you know will enable a qualified candidate to succeed in your position I recommend four to six discernible characteristics that top performers in a particular job have in common.