How to Engage a Top Performing Candidate


Top performing candidate job interview

With the economy picking up, job vacancies are increasing and top performing candidates now have greater freedom to be choosy about who they work for. Gone are the days when the market was tight and candidates were grateful to even be granted an interview.

Yes, you still need to clearly identify the key competencies that will allow someone to succeed in the role. And yes, you still need to understand the attitude, culture and dynamics of the team that the candidate will be placed within. But you also need to understand what the candidate is looking for, and what is important to them. And you might be surprised to learn that isn’t always salary!

What is a top performing candidate looking for?

Candidates in today’s job market will be interviewing you as much as you will be interviewing them. You should be prepared to answer any questions they have confidently and honestly.

Typical information they will be looking for will include:

  • What opportunities are there for career advancement?
  • Do you provide financial support for personal and career development?
  • Why did the last person in this role leave and what is your turnover like?
  • What is your induction process and how long will it last?
  • What are the short and long term challenges and future outlook of the business?


Candidates want to be proud of the company they work for, and they want to be confident that they will enjoy the culture, and the people they work with.

You may initially feel a bit put out that you have to ‘prove’ yourself to a prospective candidate, but there is a real upshot to this process. Let’s face it, you don’t want to hire a candidate who is willing to say and do almost anything to be ‘the chosen one.’ It will quickly become apparent if they have lied about their abilities, wants and needs in order to secure the role and you may find yourself back at square one, trying to recruit the right person for the role.

So the next time you go to market in search of that elusive top performing candidate, take the time to put yourself in their shoes and think about what is in it for them.

Looking for a top performing candidate to join your team? Our recruitment team can help - contact us here.

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