The 7 Types of Candidates: How to Hire Them

Know thy candidate. During job interviews, hiring teams and recruiters often get a feel for what kind of candidate each interviewee is and what kinds of traits that types comes with. Universum recently compiled the different kinds of candidates into seven types for a quiz and employers would do well to understand how each of these types tick. Today, we’ll discuss what aspects of the company employers should focus on when attempting to court each kind of candidate.


Leaders are by far the most sought-after kind of employee. According to a Universum survey of global organizations, 56% said they need leaders to fill positions, and 61% say their organizations will need leaders within the next five years. If you’re looking for someone who’ll be able to to lead your workforce now or in the next few years, you’ll want to look for adaptability. Employees who can deal with the unexpected (like having a huge project dropped on them mid-week) and not miss a step tend to make good leaders.

To evaluate for this during the hiring process, test them on their knowledge of the industry, have them solve problems on the spot, or ask them other questions that would be difficult to have pre-built answers for.


It may seem counter-productive to hire people who want to go their own way, but employers are now actively looking for these kinds of candidates. The Universum survey cites that 39% of global organizations are looking to hire them. Entrepreneurs think big, and if you want them at your company, it’s best to pitch them on purpose rather than benefits. Ritika Puri, co-founder of Storyhackers, offers the following advice:

“[Entrepreneurs are] more interested in the ‘why’ of a job, as well as the ability to make the biggest possible impact. They’re interested in how their employer’s values align with their own…"

Appeal to your company’s bigger picture and path for individual success, and entrepreneurs are more likely to come on board.


Careerists get a bad rap as people who want to move up the career ladder at all costs, often at the cost of the people around them. However, with this desire to climb the ladder comes a great deal of ambition, which companies can then turn into a desire to lead. And with as few as 7% of employees aspiring to advance to senior or C-level management, harnessing that rare ambition to advance will be crucial in the future.

To harness careerists, companies should emphasize opportunities for advancement. If a candidate asks if a position has the potential for growth, make sure to say yes and give them a practical example within the company.


Employees with a knowledge of multiple cultures are rare, and even rarer are those who can leverage that knowledge to help build connections between the multiple branches of global companies. Employees who know multiple languages are a big plus for any company, with 70% of employers believing speaking Spanish will be a huge advantage in the job market in the next ten years, and 42% thinking the same of Chinese-speaking. However, appealing to these candidates can be difficult, especially if your hiring process isn’t as global as your company.

To get these candidates on your side, put benefits ahead of pay. Internationalists want to know what the job will provide them beyond money, such as connections and opportunities to build a network.


Hunters, particularly in sales industries, are the kind of employee that looks for opportunities at every turn. Rather than wait for assignments and leads to come to them, they search them out, ready to pounce on whatever tasks. However, if they don’t see opportunities, they’re going to burn themselves out. Unlike Careerists, Hunters aren’t necessarily as interested in advancement as they are being rewarded for going above and beyond.

Focus on the competitive aspects of your business. If you offer commissions, make sure to put that benefit up front. If you don’t, pay raises for a job well done and meeting quotas can also work as an incentive.


Harmonizers work for the good of the team. They want everyone to get along while contributing to a company’s larger goals. And as studies suggest, employees who specialize in teamwork can be a boon for productivity: when asked what the biggest factor hindering productivity was, 36% said it was a non-collaborative work environment. Harmonizers want to know they’ll be working with people, and these kinds of exercises will excite them.

To attract harmonizers, emphasize the power of your company culture; talk about activities around the workplace employees love to do, team-building activities your company may have undertaken in the past, and the last project coworkers collaborated on.


Idealists want to know they’ll have an impact on the business. They think big, and want to know that their work at your company will matter. This is especially true of Millennials, 78% of whom are heavily influenced by a company’s perceived ability to innovate when making their career decisions.

To help idealists feel better-suited for the job, employers should help idealists understand their company’s larger purpose, and emphasize some of the other aspects of the company, such as charitable donations and volunteer efforts.

Bio: Sean Pomeroy

While selling other companies software solutions, Sean worked with Michael Warden to design over a dozen applications for different organizations and industries over the years. Sean now focuses on the vision for the company, business development, and continues involvement in the software design of Cyber Recruiter, applicant tracking system and Cyber Train, learning management system. Want to see what Visibility Software has to offer? Take a demo now.

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Tweet me at @VisSoft

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