When you work in staffing, your job is to recruit and place the best people in particular jobs or companies. You might just love a candidate when you meet him or her in person, but that doesn’t automatically make that person the best man or woman for the job.

AtWork Group, an award-winning staffing franchise, has learned a lot about recruiting top candidates. Ideally, a candidate should have the right mix of skills and experience, along with an ability to fit into a work environment and get along with most people there. So the question is, how do recruiters pick out the right people, with just the right balance of these traits?

First of all, determine the qualities that you need or want in a staffer. These might include:

  • Intelligence or intellectual curiosity: A person’s level of intelligence gives you an idea of how well he or she will be able to do the job. Intelligent people can plan, prioritize, and problem-solve. They’ll also ask questions to continue learning about things, especially things that interest them.
  • Confidence and competence: A confident person will come into an interview and explain why he or she is the best person for the job, with examples to back it up. Confident people are also able to show persistence and stay calm when conflicts come up. They may be more courageous about speaking up when they have something to say. And they are competent enough to set themselves to their tasks until they are done.
  • Ability to self-monitor and to lead: Top candidates can work as well on their own as they can under a supervisor or in a group. Pay close attention to those with leadership experience on their resumes, and those who demonstrate a willingness to take charge. The best candidates not only do well on an individual level, but also when they lead a team.
  • Energy and enthusiasm: Working in a corporate environment means working on a team, so top candidates will have cultivated a sense of likeability, as well as excitement for their job. Even if a position isn’t their dream job, enthusiastic candidates will take an interview seriously, be prepared, and show a willingness to work on a team.

Looking for these qualities is where the interview becomes very crucial for a recruiter. You may have several candidates with similar qualifications. Determining these qualities through thought-provoking questions may be the key to narrowing it down to the best person for the job.

If you work for a staffing agency and need to fill lots of positions, add some questions to your interview repertoire to find out what each candidate feels sets him apart from others. What motivates each candidate? What are his/her long-term goals? Careful observations and the right questions will go a long way toward helping you find the qualities present in top candidates.

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