How to find the right candidate for a job

Christian Madsen

Written by Christian Madsen

Managing Director of 11 Recruitment

The four types of candidates

If you're wondering how to find the right candidate for a job, it's important to firstly understand how candidates typically fit into one of four categories - (1) unsuitable, (2) maybe, (3) looks good, and (4) looks good and are brilliant. 

When categorising candidates, without a doubt the biggest challenge for recruiters is separating the category three candidates from the category fours, as both appear to be high achievers.

At 11 Recruitment we take pride in identifying and attracting high achievers. As such, if you're looking for a new employee, we invite you to learn more about our recruitment process. Click the links below or give us a call to discover how we can help you find and hire the best permanent staff.


Definitely not suitable for your role and easy to eliminate. A junior will be able to screen these candidates out.


Right personality but lack experience - or vice versa. You could train them, but there is a higher risk associated.

Looks good

Resume is of interest, they interview well and pass reference checks, so we hire them. However, we later regret it.


Look good and are brilliant. We hire them and they are true high achievers who stay and excel for years to come.

The most expensive employee

Consequently, category three candidates are the most expensive employees you can hire.

Their overall performance is unsatisfactory and below par however, it is never bad enough to warrant a termination. These candidates have a high opportunity cost, as they will stay with your business for years.

How to avoid category three candidates

At 11 Recruitment, we know how to find the right candidate for a job. We create an assessment matrix for every job we fill, which functions as our recruitment blueprint. This helps us differentiate between category three and four candidates.

The assessment matrix lists the selection criteria for the role on the left side, while our recruitment process is listed at the top. Each selection criteria is addressed at least once during the recruitment process, with significant criteria addressed multiple times.

Undeniably, recruitment is all about reducing the risk of hiring the wrong person. If we receive three independent observations that all lead to the same conclusion, we have minimised the risk for that selection criteria. If a candidate has two positive observations and one negative, it doesn't necessarily mean they are not fit for the role; however, the risk is higher for that criterion.

In conclusion, the next time you use a recruitment agency, ask the consultant to detail their process and assessment matrix. If they can't show it to you, you have the right to question if you are getting value for money.

Top Talent

Want to recruit top talent?

Now that you understand how to find the right candidate for a job, you may be interested in learning more about 11 Recruitment's permanent recruitment services.

11 Recruitment is the leading perm and temp recruitment agency for white-collar staff. We source high achievers for jobs in Perth and throughout Australia.

At 11, we typically get involved in the recruitment process when a client is either seeking a high achiever to elevate their business, recruiting for a role that is hard to fill, or having difficulty sourcing or attracting suitable candidates.

We provide the following recruitment services.

Click the button below to learn more about how 11 Recruitment sources top talent for businesses throughout Australia.

Christian Madsen

What are your thoughts?

I'd love to have a conversation with you about this topic - please leave a comment below if you have any thoughts or opinions ๐Ÿ™‚

Christian Madsen

Managing Director of 11 Recruitment

  • From the video, it appears that every recruiting agency invests a lot in all of their chosen candidates; yet, the recruitment process itself requires a stringent and comprehensive procedure, as he stated it will cost them hundreds of dollars. This article has helped me better understand how a recruiting agency works.

    • Christian Madsen says:

      Hi Dorothea, thanks for your comment! I’m glad you found the video and article helpful ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Great article. I would have to agree on 3 been the most expensive hire. They often โ€œtalk the talkโ€œ but canโ€™t canโ€™t preform and become totally disengage. However if they hang around for years I would then say their superiors would be the most expensive hire for not addressing the issue.

  • Marisa Romeo says:

    Great article!. The matrix would be very useful as a multiple checking tool when recruiting.
    In my experience many recruiters fail to address “organisational fit” within the key selection criteria, this is perhaps why we get more 3’s than 4’s.
    Adding 3 or 4 criteria to identify candidate attitudes, beliefs and motivations I have found helps, along with an honest recount of the role expectations and organisational culture may save us from hiring the expensive employees.

  • Michael ackrell says:

    Totally agree too many times you run checks have a great interview. Then you hire and they are world champions for the probation period. Then they go bad I like the idea of the triple check would be ideal to spend the time to get the right candidate for the job

  • Frank Kennedy says:

    Great article Christian. Spot on with the candidate types and a very good solution provided to find the ideal employee.

    • Christian Madsen says:

      Glad to hear you liked it ๐Ÿ™‚ I can only say it works really really well for us.

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