CALL 01582 383 033

What Should You Prioritise When Recruiting?

What Should You Prioritise When Recruiting?


We don’t have to tell you that recruitment is no easy job. You know it’s difficult, we know it’s difficult, everybody knows it’s difficult. But what many people don’t know is exactly why it’s difficult.

As a recruiter, you have to prioritise certain aspects of a candidate over others. This is where the job can become challenging, as there are no right or wrong answers. It’s down to the employer’s specifications and your judgement. Because, ultimately, you’ll want to provide the best possible candidate for the job.

So, we sadly won’t be giving you the answers to what you should prioritise. Instead, we will be weighing up the positives and negatives in some of the areas you’ll be prioritising.

But, of course, this blog will not apply for every single recruiter. If you’ve been given specific instructions by the employer not to provide any under-qualified candidates, please respect their wishes. As we don’t think saying “but a blog I read said it can bring benefits!” will hold up particularly well. This blog is intended to provide food for thought and to make recruiters think about their options on their next job.

Sound good? Let’s get to it!


Experience vs Qualifications.

The age-old questions are often the hardest. What came first, the chicken or the egg? What’s the meaning of life? And, most importantly, should you prioritise experience or qualifications?

It’s a tough call, as both have their benefits. You could argue that qualifications are more important, and in some roles, they will be. As, legally, you can’t do some jobs without those qualifications. And for those types of jobs, the answer is clear. But, if you’re hiring for a position where a qualification is not a legal requirement, this becomes a bit harder to choose.

Someone with previous experience knows how to do the job in question but may have picked up bad habits along the way. Similarly, someone with qualifications should know how to successfully complete the job required but may not have practical experience. And it’s not unheard of for someone that’s qualified to be unsuccessful in a position they’ve trained for.


Over-Qualified vs Under-Qualified.

This may seem like an easy one, but scratch beneath the surface, and it poses more questions than you first thought.

At first glance, you’d likely say your priority is to find someone over-qualified candidate, rather than under-qualified. But it’s not as if this route doesn’t have the potential for problems. Much like an experienced candidate vs a qualified one, an over-qualified candidate may demand more. Especially in terms of pay. This can, of course, be a problem. And an over-qualified candidate may, in rare situations, feel the job is below them. Making them less passionate and enthusiastic about the position.

On the other hand, as we mentioned in the opening, a recruiter may be asked not to provide any under-qualified candidates for the job. If that’s the case, your hands are tied. But if this isn’t explicitly stated, there’s room to manoeuvre.

Don’t confuse this for someone who is totally unsuitable for the role. We’re talking about an individual who may be just under the requirements for the role, with the option to train them. Because an individual who is trained specifically to do a certain job is less likely to make mistakes. But the downside of this is that it takes time to train someone, and they likely won’t be able to do the job straight away.

Lots to consider with this one. But remember, as a recruiter, it’s your job to provide the best possible candidate.


Location of the Candidate.

You’ve done it, you’ve found the perfect candidate! They’re qualified, looking for work, and they tick all the boxes. But the candidate is in Newcastle, the position is Cornwall, and the employer is looking for an immediate start…

You’ve got to be one hell of a recruiter to make that work.

Sometimes your first choice may be just a bit too far out. And yes, it can be heart-breaking, but being a recruiter isn’t easy. Like when you decide to cut your man-bun, it can be hard at times. And the location of the candidate vs the location of the job is something you have to consider.

Sometimes you’ll have to cut your losses if the candidate is too far away. But that’s not to say that this is always the case.


Enthusiasm for the Role.

Although it may not be explicitly written, enthusiasm for the role is a crucial part of any recruiter’s job. And no, we’re not just talking about the recruiter themselves.

A candidate’s enthusiasm for the role is vital. And as such, you may find yourself having to search for other candidates, even when you find someone that fits the position.

Ultimately, you want to find a candidate that’s likely to stay in the position for some time. That makes the employer happy, the candidate happy, and shows that you’re good at your job. So, although you may find a qualified, experienced candidate near the position, they may not be enthusiastic about joining the company. Equally, you may find someone slightly less experienced but is full of enthusiasm to join. In most cases, the more enthusiastic candidate is more likely to provide a better fit for the situation.

However, this is not definite. Although enthusiasm is important, it may not necessarily be a priority for the employer. It’s up to you as a professional recruiter to make that judgement call, and see which candidate is best suited for the job.


Reliability of the Candidate.

In our last blog, The 8 Biggest Mistakes Recruiters Will Make in 2020, we spoke about checking in with references on a CV. This is one of the main reasons why.

When you’re recruiting, one of your top priorities should always be the reliability of a candidate. After all, if the candidate is unreliable, the employer is likely to be as annoyed with you as they are with the candidate. This is no surprise, considering you’ve been brought in to find the most suitable person for the job.

One of your biggest priorities should always be finding a candidate who is reliable. And, in some cases, reliability can take priority over something like experience. But, again, this is down to you as the recruiter to make that judgement call.



As we stated at the very beginning of this blog, many of these points are variable. It depends on what the employers ask for, the role itself, and your opinion. You may even read through this blog, easily picking what you think should be prioritised, and that’s fine. As a recruiter, you may find success prioritising some areas over others. There’s no right or wrong way to do it.

But, for others, we hope this blog has given you a better idea as to what you should be thinking about the next time you’re tasked with recruiting someone.


If you enjoyed this blog, why not check out some of our others? We’re regularly blogging about jobs, recruitment, and more!

Looking for work? Click here to check out all positions we currently have available.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *