We’ve all had that one co-worker that seems to get through by achieving the bare minimum. As they clock out exactly on time every day, after putting in just enough effort – but no more than is asked of them – you’ve probably thought at least once, “how did they get hired?”. If the responsibility for recruitment lies with you, this is not a situation you’ll want to find yourself in.  

Yet, in a survey of 3,000 UK workers, one in three admitted to ‘coasting’ at work, indicating that going ‘above and beyond’ is not always a priority for employees. So, how can you make sure that your next hire will continue to add value to your business?

1. Look at promotion patterns  

Does the candidate have a record of regular promotions in their previous companies? If they have consistently been recognised in other organisations, chances are that they are the kind of person that usually excels in their role. A CV which shows a candidate has held several positions within one company is a sign of an ambitious and credible person.  

2. Consider their formal recognition of achievements 

A candidate that has been celebrated by their previous employer for excellence is likely to be one that will add value to your organisation. This might be in the form of company awards, additional bonuses or through commendation on LinkedIn. They may also have received or been nominated for awards by their peers.  

3. Ask about their ability to overcome challenges 

It’s easy to do well when times are good, but exceptional candidates are able to perform even when the chips are down. Ask your candidate experience-based interview questions, such as “Tell me about a time when you have overcome a challenge.” This will give you an insight into how the candidate performs under pressure, and how their attitude to work changes when facing difficult situations.  

4. Assess their work ethic 

Ask a candidate what motivates them at work and you’ll be able to understand more about their work ethic. Candidates who are ultimately only there for the pay check will struggle to produce a credible answer to this question, so look out for those who falter.  

5. Check for a range of experiences 

You shouldn’t be put off by a candidate whose CV indicates that they have had a wide range of different roles. While this can be a sign of someone who has difficulty sticking to one discipline, it can also be evidence of a highly desirable trait: adaptability. Take a look at the common threads that connect their previous roles and ask yourself if this candidate is likely to possess the skills you’re looking for. Chances are that by working a number of different roles, the candidate will have a wide and desirable skillset.  


For help and advice on improving and streamlining your recruitment process, get in touch with the hiring experts at Faulkner Scott.