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3 Best Practices to Evaluate a Candidate's Potential

3 Best Practices to Evaluate a Candidate's Potential

5 minutes

Sep 12, 2023

Written by Théo Janot

The recruitment process is complex. It is important to work on it so that it is original and attractive. If you succeed, you will receive a lot of applications, each with its own personality. The objective is to find the rare pearl among these resumes and cover letters. So how do you evaluate the potential of a candidate? As potential is the sum of a person's resources, it is not an easy job to measure it. If the interview and the reading of the resume are essential methods for many recruiters, they have limits that must be compensated. 

In our article, you will find the solution to meet the professional needs of the company through 3 best practices to identify the potential of a candidate.


1 - Build an effective and appropriate practice test


Testing the hard skills of a future employee is a good means of evaluation, provided that it is well adapted. It is therefore necessary to think about the regular tasks that the candidate will have to perform. The job description is a good way to do this. Through it, you will have a more precise view, during the selection process, of the correspondence between the profiles and your needs. In addition, this exercise reduces the impact of your cognitive biases and therefore promotes equal opportunities.

This process can take place in several ways: ask for a deliverable by a specific date or have the candidates come directly to the company, one after the other or all together, in order to measure the duration of the task according to each person.

However, this advice may not apply to all sectors of activity, since each profession has its own particularities. Moreover, the difficulty as a recruiter may be that the correction exercise is long for you. You may not even know how to evaluate the abilities of a professional (such as a programmer for example).


A test will not be the same for a nurse, a programmer and a baker

While this method gives an initial overview of a candidate's potential, there is another method that focuses on making contact.


2 - The use of the professional network


Apart from candidates who have just finished their studies, most of the profiles have already had professional experience within an organization. Of course, they will tell you about it during interviews to highlight their skills and you will see it on their CV.

If you want to verify what they say and take advantage of it to evaluate the potential of a candidate, we advise you to use reference taking. This involves contacting previous managers or supervisors and asking them questions about the talent's skills and behaviors. Thanks to this, you will have a more precise and direct vision of what you can expect when they take up their position.

To do this, ask them who you could potentially contact either before or during the interview so that you choose the contact carefully. Be aware that the candidate must be informed of your intention.

On the other hand, it is important to keep in mind that, depending on the candidate's relationship with that person, his or her opinion may be biased and therefore less reliable. It is important to keep a critical mind regarding the information you obtain.


Reference taking is a key to evaluation

This method gives an initial overview of a candidate's potential. However, it has its limits since it is based on declarative information only. Tests are a perfect complement to your feelings.

Our advice is as follows: focus on soft skills. These behavioral skills have the advantage of being transversal and therefore linked to all professions.


3 - Evaluating soft skills through assessment


Indeed, in recent years, a new value has emerged thanks to recruitment 3.0, soft skills or behavioral skills. If this is a discovery for you, you should know that we have written an article on the top 10 soft skills of 2023.

Let's take a manager as an example: we often expect him to be adaptable, empathetic or to be able to manage stress and solve problems. So how can you avoid making a mistake and know if your candidate really has these skills?

This is where the assessment comes into play, it is an evaluation tool based on situational testing. A real opportunity to seize, there are many of them to make your recruitment more fluid. Presented to the talents in the form of a questionnaire or an online list of choices, you obtain an analysis in line with the requested criteria.

While these methods have proven their worth over the past twenty years, they are less and less adapted to the new expectations of the new generations and can degrade your candidate experience. Fortunately, a new method has appeared: gamification. By using games, you can make your company stand out, put your candidates in an immersive situation and thus obtain more precise and honest answers. This is what Yuzu offers you, by evaluating the soft skills of your candidates in scenarios developed with the latest video game technologies.



Another advantage of these solutions is the logistics. With digital assessment, you can streamline your processes with asynchronous assessments.

With digital assessment, your candidate experience and selection can only be better.




In order to ensure the proper management of your recruitment, it is important to define your needs for a position. Your job offer will be clearer and you will avoid receiving applications that do not match your expectations. Knowing that recruiting the right candidate can be difficult, it is important to take the necessary time.

By using these 3 best practices, you will considerably improve the accuracy of your judgment. They also have the advantage of being unrelated, so you can use only one, two or all three, depending on your corporate culture.

If you are looking for even more good practices, you can, for example, set up a cooptation system in your structure. Finally, once the right candidate has been hired, think about structuring the integration period in order to put the employee in the best conditions.