Here Are 5 Signs That a Candidate is 'The One'

February 14, 2020

Photo of hand-drawn red heart handing from a piece of string

As a recruiter, every day is a little like Valentine’s Day. After all, your job is all about playing matchmaker, pairing great candidates with jobs that they’ll love. And when you find that special someone, you have to “woo” them — showing them why your company is the one they’ll want to spend the rest of their life with (or at least the foreseeable future). Cupid ain’t got nothing on you. 

Of course, in both love and recruiting, sometimes you just know when you’ve found “the one.” So, in celebration of Valentine’s Day, we wanted to highlight some creative ways candidates have instantly won recruiters’ hearts. These are all real examples — and they’re the stuff Hallmark cards are made of. 

You know a candidate is the one when… 

1. They know the real way to your heart

To paraphrase a familiar proverb, the way to a recruiter’s heart is through their stomach. Some candidates have figured this out — grabbing recruiters’ attention by attaching their resume to food.

Just look at Renata Chunderbalsingh, whose resume went viral when she disguised it as the wrapping on a chocolate bar. Recruiters could snack on the delicious Lindt chocolate while reading about her skills and traits.

Another candidate, Lukas Yla, disguised himself as a Postmates delivery person to drop off boxes of donuts at local marketing agencies — each containing a copy of his resume. (A touch stalkerish, maybe, but we’ve all done desperate things in the name of love.)

  • Selfie photo of Lukas Yla in Postmates t-shirt, sunglasses, and carrying grocery bag in elevator
  • Photo of Lukas Yla’s delivered donut box. Box is open with four donuts inside, plus the inside lid of the box reads: “Most resumes end up in trash. Mine - in your belly. Hi, This delivery is not a mistake. I pretended to be a Postmates delivery guy to ensure my resume was delivered to you personally.”

Of course, the quality of the resume ultimately matters more than the taste of the treat — but you can’t fault these candidates for their ingenuity. 

2. They don’t just apply — they serenade you

Elton John once sang that “My gift is my song, and this one’s for you.” Following in Elton’s footsteps, copywriter Chase Zreet wrote and recorded a rap song to serenade ad agency Wieden+Kennedy — specifically, the team responsible for a Sprite account. He even filmed a lovingly cheesy music video:

It’s the recruiting equivalent of John Cusack wielding a boombox playing “In Your Eyes.” And it worked: The lyrical love letter won Wieden+Kennedy over and Chase landed the job. Who doesn’t love a rom-com with a happy ending? 

3. They’ve dreamed of working at your company for many moons

If you watch as many soppy movies as we do around Valentine’s Day, you’ll know that while love is often at first sight, some people have to know each other for a long time before finally getting together. Similarly, your company may have many encounters with a great candidate before you pair them with the perfect role — but they never stop dreaming about your company.

Take Chloe Bridgewater, the candidate who wrote a passionate letter to Google, highlighting her skills and explaining why she wanted to work at the company. Unfortunately, Google couldn’t hire her at the time: She was only seven years old.

  • Photo of Chloe’s letter to Google, handwritten on a lined piece of paper in a child’s handwriting:  Dear Google boss  My name is Chloe and when I am bigger I would like a job with google. I also want to work in a chocolate factory and do swimming in the Olympics. I go swimming on Saturday and a Tuesday. My dad said I can sit on bean bags and go down slides and ride go karts in a job in google. I like computers too and have a tablet I play games on. My dad gave me a game where I have to move a robot up and down squares. He said it will be good for me to learn about computers. My dad said he will get me a computer one day. I am 7 years old and my teachers tell my mum and dad I am very good I class and am good at my spelling and reading my sums. My dad told me if I carry on being good and learning then one day I will be able to have a job at google. My sister Hollie is also very clever but she likes doll and dressing up, she is 5. My dad told me to give you a application to get a job in google. I don’t really know what one of them is but he said a letter will do for now. Thank you for reading my letter, I have only ever sent one other and that was to Father Christmas. Good bye.  Chloe Bridgewater, age 7

Despite this slight setback, it seems likely that Chloe and Google will eventually be together. “Google boss” Sundar Pichai personally responded to the letter, writing: “I look forward to receiving your job application when you are finished with school.”

  • Photo of Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s typed letter back to Chloe:  Dear Chloe,  Thank you so much for your letter. I’m glad that you like computers and robots, and hope that you will continue to learn about technology. I think if you keep working hard and following your dreams, you can accomplish everything you set your mind to — from working at Google to swimming in the Olympics. I look forward to receiving your job application when you are finished with school. :)  All the best to you and your family,  Sincerely, Sundar Pichai CEO

4. They just can’t wait to see you 

Nothing says true love like counting down the minutes until you can see a person again. And some job candidates are just as eager to speak to recruiters, as Laura MacLean proved when she showed up a month early for a video interview with Microsoft.

In her excitement, Laura had completely forgotten what month it was: She was convinced it was February 18, the date of her interview, when in fact it was still January. (Classic rom-com mixup.)

  • Screenshot of Laura MacLean’s tweet about her mixing up the dates for her interview with Microsoft (including screenshot images of her email exchange with recruiter):  All dressed up ready n freaking out for my big Skype interview with Microsoft and this happens. Possibly the biggest noob on this planet. Hahahahaha. If you don’t laugh you’ll cry

While the movies may tell us that love means never having to say you’re sorry, Laura took the initiative to reach out to the recruiters and apologize. Luckily, Microsoft was forgiving of the small mistake and the interview went ahead as planned. And Laura’s passion clearly shone through — she got the job. 

5. They return the love

Valentine’s Day isn’t all about flowers and chocolates, but they’re certainly nice. The same is true of recruiting. Talent professionals are often surprised by deliveries of flowers, chocolates, and other gifts from candidates after helping them find their dream jobs.

  • Screenshot of tweet from Amiqus Recruitment (@WeAreAmiqus) with photo of recruiter holding bouquet of flowers wrapped in pink paper:  @AmiqusMeeta delighted to receive a lovely gift from a candidate who got their dream job at the amazing @SuperMGames
  • Screenshot of LinkedIn post from Clare Newman (Business Support and Secretarial Recruiter) with photo of thank you card and box of “Just Milk” chocolates:  “What better way to make my Wednesday, but a lovely gift from a fabulous candidate whom I helped find their perfect job.”

Some candidates even split the difference and send chocolate bouquets.

  • Screenshot of tweet from @recruitmentedge with photo of a chocolate bouquet:  Helping #candidates find their #dream #job is #sweet! Lovely gift from a wonderful candidate #recruitmentedge

Many recruiters are also touched to receive handwritten or emailed thank-you notes, both after the interview and after the candidate gets the job. These tokens of appreciation are by no means compulsory — but they always remind you why you love your job.

Don’t let them be the one that got away

There are lots of little ways that candidates signal they’re the one — and as a masterful matchmaker, you never miss a cue

When you do find the candidate you’ve been dreaming of, you can win them over by communicating clearly at every step and creating a seamless candidate experience. That way, this rom-com won’t turn into a drama, and when you pop the question — “Will you come work with us?” — the only words on their lips will be “of course.”

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* Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash