What is more important of a candidate's grades or character?

What determines who you hire?

Employers: What is more important of grades or character? The modern professional world is changing. More and more people get higher education and many candidates meet the formal requirements for a position. The way we recruit new employees is also changing, and personal qualities play a more decisive role in the hiring process.

Formal requirements are necessary for many positions. The difference between two candidates whose education and grades are similar, lies in their personal character. Personality may therefore be the deciding factor for who will be hired. The new employee has to fit into a team, reflect the corporate culture and values, and have the right attitude for the specific position. Additionally, they must have the ability to learn and willingness to practice their skills.

Today, employers can do a more thorough research of applicants than earlier, thanks to the internet with search engines and social media. The goal is to create an as correct image of an applicant as possible, where many employers base their first impression on a picture and posts in social media. The question is how easy you find the right candidates to invite to a first meeting. One challenge is that photos and web searches does not always display a correct image.

The earlier in the hiring process you get to see the candidate´s personal characteristics, the faster you’ll be able to make a decision on who to hire. If you’re currently screening candidates based on education and work experience listed in a résumé alone, and you’re checking whether the application letters are well-written with correct spelling and grammar, it might be time to modernize the process.

What do you value most; character [a person´s personality and nature], or grades [number/letter that represents performance]? How have you been able to choose the right candidate for an interview based on a cover letter and résumé before?

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