How to Find an All-Round Employee

Finding an all-round employee is like finding a unicorn in a herd of horses. 🦄

We’re talking about a well-rounded candidate – i.e. someone with all the skills your client’s looking for and more to spare.

It’s not always easy determining what makes a great all-rounder, especially if you’re a recruiter.

Once you understand the qualities of a good employee, you’ll then need to answer the question: How do I find someone with these qualities?

Luckily for you, our team at AdBuilder are here to help with exactly that dilemma.

In this blog, I’ll take you through the traits of a well-rounded employee and share some tried and tested methods for finding these needles in the hiring haystack.


What Is an All-Rounder?

An all-round employee is a professional capable of fulfilling several duties in an organisation.

Generally speaking, it comes down to the employee possessing two things:

– The correct hard skills – Hard skills are learned abilities, acquired through education and practice. Things like coding in C++. Or using Photoshop. Or doing seven backflips in a row. The ‘correct’ hard skills will of course be dependent on the role that your client is aiming to fill.

– The correct soft skills – Soft skills (common skills) are the skills that you might acquire in any line of business. Things like teamwork, leadership, communication and active listening. Though less targeted to a role, they remain essential to the efficient, effective running of any workplace.

Say, for example, that your recruitment agency is hiring for an accountancy firm.

Yes, you’ll want to be sure that the candidates you recommend are qualified and equipped with those hard skills.

But you’ll then need to think about whether each candidate will be an asset to the existing workforce.

Will they be willing to work in a team?

And independently too?

Will they be creative?

Able to think on their feet?

A person equipped with all the financial knowledge in the world could still easily be a bad hire if they fail to play well with others and blow up the productive, focused workplace atmosphere. 💥😢

These skills are termed ‘hard’ and ‘soft’, but don’t let that fool you into thinking soft skills aren’t as important.

No well-rounded employee is complete without them.

And, according to Deloitte, soft-skill-intensive occupations will make up two-thirds of all jobs by 2030.

Returning to that original question with a strong sense of the two distinct sets of skills, we can say:

An all-rounder is someone whose skills are not condensed in one area. Someone with hard and soft skills that complement each other perfectly.

A Detailed Profile: The Well-Rounded Employee

We’ve all heard a few recruitment horror stories over the years, haven’t we?

You can’t secure the dream candidate every time, and that’s okay.

That’s to be expected.

But it doesn’t mean you can’t increase your odds of hiring success.

And it certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a dream candidate in mind.

Beyond the hard skills (which will change from role to role), our profile for a highly desirable all-rounder, sure to please any client as a suggested hire, is as follows:

– This person should be passionate about their work, aligned with the values of their future employer

– This person should be self-motivated, ambitious and organised, with a strong work ethic

– This person should be honest and confident (while retaining a humble, conscientious nature)

– This person should be a strong communicator, able to take on leadership roles when required

– This person should be both a team player and a great independent worker

– This person should be an adaptable, resilient critical thinker with a knack for creative problem-solving

– This person should be committed to growth, learning and development within their future workplace

Let’s turn to another expert source for confirmation.

Hays research reveals that the following five questions are most commonly asked by employers about candidates’ soft skills:

1. Are they willing to learn?

2. Do they understand our customers?

3. Can they adapt to change?

4. Do they have strong interpersonal and communication skills?

5. What are their organisational skills like?

When you know what employers are asking most often, you know what you, as a recruiter, need to be looking for most diligently.

(And skills like those contained in the above ideal candidate profile top the list.)

89% of recruiters agree that bad hires, generally speaking, have one thing in common: They lack these soft skills. 🚫

Can Recruiters Search for Outstanding Employee Qualities?

So, now we know.

Soft skills are super important.

But can recruiters search for outstanding employee qualities?

Can they narrow down their list of recommended candidates based on them?

Yes. ✅

This is 100% possible, and if your agency is committed to finding true top talent, it’s something you should be incorporating into your candidate sourcing strategy.

It takes some effort and thought to measure these skills within the confines of the hiring process, which is usually over in around a month, but it’s very much doable.

From asking insightful questions to researching the candidate’s professional track record, you have options…

Seeking Out the Crucial Qualities of a Good Employee

As a recruiter, finding a top candidate quickly is the name of the game.

Not only finding a candidate quickly and a top performer but BOTH at once.

This means that every second of facetime or talk time you have with an applicant needs to count. ⏳

I’ll begin by taking this trait by trait…

Finding Passionate, Enthusiastic Candidates

Finding passionate, enthusiastic candidates is of course extremely valuable.

Every employer wants an employee that wants to be there – especially given how helpful a good retention rate can be for overall company performance. 📈

You can source this type of talent largely by asking insightful questions and listening carefully to the answers.

Is this a person with a deep passion for the work they do, and plenty to say about what they’d bring to the role?

Is this a person who seems to be a strong cultural fit, aligning with the values you know your client holds?

84% of recruiters report that cultural fit has become a key factor when hiring, and though figuring out the fit is partly up to the employer, you’ll save time by spotting glaring mismatches early on.

Finding Team Players

80% of LinkedIn survey respondents agree that soft skills like creativity, adaptability, and collaboration are ever-more vital to a company’s success.

Collaboration, in particular, is key.

A workforce made up of team players is a workforce performing at its best, and a workforce made up of people who can’t connect and share is a workforce performing at its worst.

One great way to test whether a candidate plays well with others is via a group interview or the setting of a group exercise during the assessment stage of hiring.

Are they talking over others?

Are they letting others do the work?

Or are they actively getting involved and facilitating progress? 🤝

Another option is to discuss a time in the candidate’s past when they have failed.

When they talk about this time, do you find that they are always trying to shift the blame onto another person? 🤨

Or are they readily willing to accept when they might have been at fault, even if the blame was only partial?

Finding Strong Communicators

Figuring out whether a candidate is or isn’t a strong communicator should be fairly straightforward.

You’ll be communicating with them, after all, so in time you should be able to judge for yourself.

Are they quick to respond?

Are they clearly expressing their meaning? 🗣

Beyond the interactions you have with them, you can look into their professional history to find evidence of their communication prowess.

Perhaps there’s a video of them speaking at an event, or some endorsements for their ability to communicate on their LinkedIn page?

Finding Candidates with a Great Track Record

Leading on from the above, one hugely useful way to know whether you’ve got a well-rounded employee on your hands is by examining their track record. 🕵️‍♂️

What does their digital footprint tell you about who they are and how they work? 👣

What do their references have to say about them?

A word of caution, though: Ensure you’re judging primarily on what’s there, and not what isn’t.

It’s great if, as suggested in the previous section, a person has managed to rack up lots of endorsements on LinkedIn.

And it’s an indicator that they are, indeed, good at the things they’re endorsed for.

But it doesn’t necessarily lead to the same conclusion in the other direction.

If you assume that a candidate’s lack of online presence/evident previous career success is a definite indicator of their future performance, you miss out on some great candidates.

5 More Ways to Find an All-Round Employee

Here are a few more things you can do to put your agency in the best possible position to find that all-rounder…

1. Consider a Candidate’s Flexibility and Long-Term Potential 🤸‍♀️

This ties into the warning I offered about what the absence of a track record might mean.

45% of hiring managers say they’ve failed to fill a much-needed position due to a lack of qualified talent.

Sometimes, this will truly be because nobody qualified applied.

Other times, it will be because the recruiter or hiring manager in charge of filling the role didn’t prioritise qualifications, or they included irrelevant requirements that put certain applicants off.

When you’re writing that job ad AND when you’re assessing the candidates that apply, don’t think solely about their skills in the here and now.

Consider their potential.

If they’re a flexible candidate with a strong willingness to learn, how can they grow over time? 🌿⬆️

What could they become for your client’s company in five or 10 years?

2. Invest in the Candidate Experience 🥳

When you raise the quality of your hiring process, you raise the quality of your hires.

This goes for specialist hires and for sourcing skilled all-rounders, too.

You can invest in candidate experience in several ways, but all investments should be made to:

– Speed things up for candidates

– Make things simpler for candidates

– Deliver the information that matters to candidates

– Communicate more regularly and effectively with candidates

Ask yourself: What do employees want in 2022?

And then work to give them these things from the recruitment process. 🎁

Automated hiring tools like AdBuilder are a good place to start, as they allow you to streamline and re-invest your time (and the time of your team) elsewhere.

3. Emphasise the Right Things in Your Job Ads 📲

As detailed above, one of the best ways to improve candidate experience is to deliver the information that matters to candidates.

Think carefully about what you choose to emphasise in your job listings.

Are you expressing that your client values certain soft skills commonly found in a well-rounded employee, rather than focusing solely on the hard skills?

Are you letting readers of the ad know that development opportunities and chances to climb the ranks are very much available? 🧗‍♀️

Are you mentioning important points of interest for jobseekers, like salary and location?

The simple key to writing a great job advert is that you should never stop thinking about your audience – something we at AdBuilder know very well.

4. Incorporate Diversity and Inclusion 💖

In the hiring world, incorporating diversity and inclusion best practices matters a great deal.

Here, in a nutshell, is why… 🥜

Why Does Diverse, Inclusive Recruitment Matter?

– 78% of those surveyed believe that prioritising diversity and inclusion creates a competitive advantage, with 39% calling this advantage “significant”.

– Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams are 21% more likely to outperform on profitability and 27% more likely to create more value.

– Inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to become innovative market leaders.

– Diverse companies are 70% more likely to capture new markets.

– Inclusive companies enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee over a three-year period.

– 85% of employers feel that increasing workplace diversity is a priority.

– 73% of employers believe diversity is important for the encouragement of creative, innovative thinking in the workforce.

[Statistics from Bersin, Deloitte, Harvard Business Review, McKinsey & Company, Robert Walters]

A hugely talented all-rounder could be quickly put off by a job ad that doesn’t speak to inclusive company culture.

Or by a recruitment process that doesn’t respect diversity and differences of experience.

From checking your ads for bias with AdGrader to being flexible when scheduling conversations with candidates, inclusive practices can significantly increase your chances of finding a well-rounded employee.

5. Use Alternative Forms of Candidate Assessment 🧐

82% of companies use some form of pre-employment test to assess candidates, with an interview being the most popular method of assessment.

But let’s be honest… 😇

If attracting a diverse range of applicants is our aim, using one method for every single applicant probably isn’t going to yield the best results.

Not every all-rounder is going to shine in an interview (even if they are a great communicator in their day-to-day work).

Instead, other forms of assessment could be incorporated, such as problem-solving, aptitude and personality tests.

Perfect the Hiring Process with AdBuilder, Attract Well-Rounded Employees

It’s simple …

When your hiring process is as strong as it can be, you’ll not only attract more all-rounders – you’ll also know exactly how to identify them. 💪

Wondering how you can free up time to invest back into the candidate sourcing side of things?

By choosing to build your job adverts with AdBuilder, of course.

Cut the time it takes to create a strong job advertisement down significantly with our intuitive platform.

For more advice on perfecting your recruitment strategies, stick around on our blog and take a look at articles like these:

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James Ball
Written by James Ball

James is the founder and owner of AdBuilder and a recruitment expert from Sutton Coldfield in the UK.  He regularly advises companies on how to improve and get the maximum ROI from their recruitment processes and advertising.

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