Recruiting | 7Min Read

Explore Beyond the Resume: What Really Matters!

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Talent is abundant in today's world. Hence, sourcing it requires extra care and diligently devised recruitment strategies.  Companies are always on the lookout for candidates with unparalleled potential and leadership capabilities. But these traits can never be assessed from the candidate's resume.  Our blog explores the myriad of traits and qualities that organizations need to evaluate to conclude whether the candidate is the right fit for the job and the company.  We urge you to look beyond the resume and seek the finer nuances that point out the candidate who will be a valuable addition to your workforce.

Explore Beyond Resume!

In all those years of running a business, how many resumes has your HR team reviewed? Hundreds? Thousands? When your recruitment team screens a resume, they are probably looking for a candidate with the right skillset and academic qualifications. They may also scan the resume for details such as training, experience, licenses, and certifications. Essentially, you are picking your new employee based on a rigid, lackluster resume template.

In the world of business, competent leaders recognize that resumes tell you only so much about a candidate. This approach may seem sensible, but it greatly limits your ability to find the right candidate for your business. It would be best to adopt a different technique- take the non-traditional route to look beyond the resume details.

Resumes - iSmartRecruit

Why RPO providers excel in hiring the perfect candidates?

Quality hiring is something that many in-house talent acquisition teams struggle with the most. The recruitment capabilities that they lack are what companies offering RPO services have in abundance. Their acumen to exploring beyond a candidate's resume is what makes them consistently successful. It is no wonder that organizations are fast adapting to recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) to refine their workforce for years to come. What is it that they look for in a job seeker? Let's delve right into the details.

Looking at insights that lie beyond the resume

Here are the finer specifics that RPO firms look for in a job applicant. You can also implement the same to gain insights that go beyond a mere resume. It is this extended approach that also makes Recruitment Process Outsourcing companies highly successful.



The candidate seated before your HR team may lack the required academic qualities and certifications for the job. These are the aspects you had hoped for. Instead of moving on to the next person, take a closer look at the applicant's potentiality. Despite the lack of resume-oriented qualities, they could be brimming with enthusiasm, energy, and out-of-the-box ideas. Look for innate leadership qualities such as sound decision-making and presence of mind. These factors should be given equal importance.


A resume will hardly give you a glimpse of the candidate's personality. The person who looks picture perfect on the resume may not acclimatize themselves well with the existing staff. This friction between staff will be the start of a downward spiral. Hence, right from the outset, you need to delve deeper and assess the applicant's personality, attitude, and temperament.


One of your first questions can be centered around the candidate's long-term ambitions. Their answer will help you understand how long they intend to stay with your organization. What you want is someone who stays committed for an extended period. If the candidate exhibits the zeal to contribute to your business growth, you can assume they are fairly invested in your company.

ambition and goals


Many recruiters focus solely on the candidate's experience, forgetting that their trajectory also speaks volumes. A person's work trajectory gives you an idea of their career path, no matter what roles they've held or what industries they've worked in. You can ask about how they optimized their opportunities to grow in a certain job. You can glean insights about their demonstrative abilities and their zeal to boost their career graph in the right direction.


When you are hiring for growth potential, you need to pick someone with an adaptable growth mindset. This aspect is well explained in Carol Dweck's research. The research reveals how some people believe that talents are inborn and cannot be altered, translating to a fixed mindset. You need to hire people who think just the opposite.  

Your company needs a person who believes in acquiring, developing, and nurturing talent to grow and instill organizational growth This mindset can be assessed by asking what motivates or demotivates them and how they deal with failure. This approach may help you uncover hidden talent with exceptional growth potential.

Deal with Failure

Assessing personality traits that resumes don't mention

In your effort to secure top-notch employees, you also need to recognize traits that differentiate outstanding candidates from the average applicant.

One of the things that RPO providers look for in a candidate is how they will fit into the organization's culture. That's because seasoned employers believe that a candidate's personality traits are as important as hard skills.

Here are some important personality traits to look out for:


Your candidate will not work alone. During their day, they will work closely with their colleagues. The best employees are those who are comfortable with teamwork and excel at individual contributions. Consider how comfortable and receptive they are to ideas fostering coordination, cooperation, and collaboration.

Team Work

Work Ethics

Candidates who set high goals and are willing to go above and beyond to attain them are assets for your company. In the interview, you may glean information about how they made exceptional contributions to their former employers. This information may be cross-checked for confirmation.

Work Ethics


Consider if the applicant is eager to explore fresh ideas and ways of working. To be a long-standing employee, the person ought to be flexible to changes and willing to learn new skills, if needed. This requisite is vital because, as your organization grows, change will be constant.


From the outset, dependable candidates will display examples of reliable behavior. They will attend the interview on time and diligently follow up with the other hiring processes. Recruiters also need to focus on those who show a keen commitment to meeting deadlines.


Your applicant's resume itself will showcase the candidate's eye for detail. Sloppy, inaccurate, and incomplete resumes are red flags that indicate their disorganized attitude. You may also consider pre-employment testing as a metric to assess this quality. Detail-oriented employees are meticulous about every single detail in their work.


A candidate who exudes confidence may be quite easy to identify. You may be able to assess this from their resumes and how they present themselves. However, an optimistic candidate will be self-assured in their skills and talents, however insignificant they may be for the job. These are the employees who will be willing to go the extra mile when the need arises.


A candidate's honesty and integrity are just as important as their talent and qualifications. These are crucial parameters that distinguish high-quality candidates. Trusted employees are necessary for your company's success. Word travels fast in the business world, especially when there is a trust issue with an employee. You can determine a candidate's trustworthiness by running thorough background checks and cross-references.

Refining your approach to recruiting

A recruiter's job is easier said than done. Sifting through hundreds of resumes requires coordinated teamwork and streamlined processes. Hence, if you look beyond those resumes and traditional screening techniques, you have to polish your recruiting skills.  Take a look at our suggestions:

Scrutinize the application

The application form is the initial interaction between you, the recruiter, and your potential candidate.  You need to pay close attention to how the candidates present themselves in the form. Have they made an effort to craft a personalized application with crucial details? Or have they stuck to the bare details without taking the interaction beyond that limit?  A serious or eager candidate will ensure their application stands out from the crowd.


Deploy different tactics

A one-on-one interview with standard questions is fast becoming a thing of the past. New age employers are resorting to more casual interviews and tactics to assess the candidate's performance. After all, it all boils down to how they will play their given role once they take up the job.

Recruiters can devise hiring tactics that are specific to the job. For example, candidates can be asked to attend mock telephone calls if they are being hired to answer phones. If recruiters are looking for developers, you can have them work on some codes.  If the candidate will be your next project manager, have them assess the current project outline and evaluate their suggestions.

Use trial periods

Trial periods are like internships. This option may not be the best solution for all job positions. Nevertheless, many organizations are willing to give it a try. Trial periods are a win-win situation for the potential employee and employer alike. For the candidate, the pay is better than an internship. The employer also gets to assess the candidate for a few months or weeks to decide if they are the right fit for the company. 

Companies that choose trial periods ought to be very clear in stating that the job is only temporary. Ensure you accurately state the period of work and the specific responsibilities it entails.

Glean information from references

If you are shrewd, you will use the references provided by your candidate to collect the information you need. Apart from asking the contacts about the work performances, you may collect details about their interactive skills, organizational skills, hobbies, external activities, etc. Keep your company culture in mind and use it as a question guide.

Key Takeaways

For recruiters, attracting top-quality talent is only half the battle. Selecting the best is what matters. Allow us to quickly run through the salient points that will help you revamp and refine your recruitment skills and look beyond resumes:

Always remember that soft skills are as important as candidate competency.

Refine your focus to specific characteristics- attributes that you would like to see in your employees.

Look for professionalism, high energy, intellectual curiosity, and technical expertise.

Assess their problem-solving capacities, communication skills, and critical thinking abilities.

Cultural fit is a top priority. Ensure that the applicant is the right fit for your business, culture, and brand.

Your workforce is your organization's lifeline. Therefore, you should do all it takes to pick the best candidates who will propel your business to resounding success.

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