Look for their unique selling proposition.
Filling a position requires a lot of work on the hiring manager’s part – going through resumes, selecting those who appear to be a good fit, interviewing them, imagining each candidate in that job. Your choice will affect the company’s performance, so it’s a responsibility. Wouldn’t you want that responsibility to be a bit easier, and some of that work done by the applicants themselves?
The best ones, those who have the potential to be the biggest “return on investment”, will do just that for you – they’ll research your company, they’ll envision themselves in the position and will link their specific skills to the company’s bottom line in their unique selling proposition. Those are the people you need – those who are ready to go an extra mile, who are able to see themselves in the big picture. You won’t miss them – they’ll always stand out in a crowd of interviewees. And you’ll want them, even if their specific credentials require you to alter the job description or restructure a department.
Have a look at my recommendations to job seekers on creating their unique selling proposition in my latest article for Psychology Today. I bet you’ll feel that you’d hire people who take that approach.