The 6 Types of Jobseekers You’ll Encounter as an HR Manager

by Sandra Jenkins

As a recruiter, your company relies on you to source the best candidates from the masses. Not necessarily the ones with the shiniest degrees, but those who have the character and attitude that will fit your company culture like a glove.

This job function is critical to the well-being of your company.

Thus, your assessments need to be spot-on to find the best candidates. And if the ideal candidate doesn’t exist, you will need to learn how you can best utilize the candidates at your disposal.

This article will discuss the broad types of jobseekers that you will likely meet in your recruiting career. We will discuss each type’s advantages and disadvantages so that you’ll know what hiring decisions you have to make when you have these types at your table.

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The Golden Child

Rarely is the recruiter that hasn’t encountered this type of job seeker in one way or another. This type of applicant is the person that will tell you every one of their achievements to impress you, starting from the earliest possible point in their lives.

Every high school achievements, volunteer activities, and significant moment in their lives, these types of applicants are not afraid to take time to let you know just how competent they think they are.

That’s not to mean that those achievements are fake or even irrelevant. More often than not, people who have the confidence to go down this route also have the qualifications to back it up, and they will let you know from the thick file supporting their resumes.

Highly qualified and not afraid to talk about it, the golden child can either be a gift or a curse for any recruiter.


It’s always a good idea to have someone very qualified in your team. Candidates like these are driven and passionate, if a bit arrogant. They will most likely be very goal-oriented, bold, and ambitious if you hire them.

If handled well, the Golden Child is golden for your team indeed.


Applicants like these can talk about themselves the whole day, so you will need to tight rein on the job interview session or risk getting over-time and derailed to boot.

More than that, your existing team might have trouble dealing with people like this; their somewhat arrogant personality tends to put people off, even if they do have the qualifications.

What You Should Do

When dealing with these types of applicants, take care to separate the capable from the merely arrogant. It’s your job to be discerning enough to know when individuals are stating facts or inflating stories to make themselves look better, so you will hire them.

Also, remember that just because a candidate is highly qualified doesn’t mean that they are suitable for the team.

Along with their technical skills, keep a close eye on their interpersonal skills, personality, and principles. Their golden qualifications won’t matter one whit if your team is too conflicted or demotivated to perform at their best.

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The Embellisher

True to their word, Embellishers inflate the facts to make themselves look better in your eyes.

These types of people range from those with a silver tongue that can make themselves seem more important than they are – to those who are lying through their teeth.

Embellishers might boast about specific achievements they never got or job functions that never happened. If they’ve done their research, they might be able to tell you everything that you want to hear, but their knowledge might be more theoretical than anything else.

Although this attitude is generally a red flag for any competent recruiter, if you are hard-pressed for qualified candidates, and an Embellisher is the only viable one, you might be justified in rooting out the few advantages of this type.


Like the reverse case of the Golden Child type, just because we should be wary about Embellishers doesn’t mean that they have no redeeming qualities. We all have the drive to make ourselves look good in front of people we want to impress – embellishers just happen to be very good at it.

Thus, these types of people generally will have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Since they are good communicators, they can rely on them for reporting, negotiations, and even teamwork.

In other words, even if their technical skills might be questionable, their soft skills are something to be desired. If the position’s technical skills can largely be taught, you can do worse than an Embellisher.


Even if they are great communicators, some Embellishers will go to the point of lying to get the job that they want. Avoid these people at all costs; outright lying does not bode well for their personality traits, which tend to be Embellishers’ only redeeming factor.

What You Should Do

An embellisher might not be at the top of our list to take the job, but you can use their innate communication skills for your team with the proper steps.

Meticulous research is the key; look for any evidence to back up all of their claims, contact character references, previous employers, and conduct a thorough background check.

Establish their actual skill level without their embellishments; technical skills can be taught, and with their communication skills, Embellishers can be a great addition to your team provided that you manage them properly.

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The Caster

Some people just like to cast their nets as wide as possible, and we can’t blame them for it.

Casters are job seekers who apply to any job opening with even a remote chance of accepting them. Often, Casters are not the most qualified people, such as recent graduates.

Typically, people like this are desperate for a job, and they are looking for any opportunities that they can.

That’s not a bad thing; it means they are highly motivated. However, some Casters will also just apply to any job without carefully considering the job description or company culture. Their application letters and resumes might be generic, and they might flounder during interviews.

However, there are good and bad apples for any category. Your job as a recruiter is to pick the best ones out of each of them.


The best of the Casters are highly motivated individuals who have a lot to give to anyone willing to accept them.

Granted, they might not be the most qualified, but their drive to get accepted into a job ensures that you will get a dedicated, highly-trainable employee that will be grateful to you for allowing them to prove their worth.


On the other hand, the worst of the Casters are bad examples. They apply to everything yet do not prepare for their interviews, and they are hoping to score an easy win just from the sheer volume of applications they send out.

Even among the motivated and good-natured Casters, these people are likely not to have the best qualifications, which is why they are banking on quantity instead of quality. Even if you find a dedicated and highly motivated caster, it might take a bit of time for them to realize their potential.

What You Should Do

Casters are generally motivated individuals who are willing to show everyone that they have a lot to offer.

When evaluating this type of job applicant, instead of prioritizing technical skills, assess their character, work ethic, and attitude more. Make sure that they are trainable and worthy of training. You can do this through carefully placed interview questions and by calling their character references.

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The Generalist

Jack of all trades, master to none – so the old saying goes. Generalists are job applicants that have plenty of exposure to a wide variety of careers but do not stay too long in any single one to advance in the ranks.

This type of job seeker can either be highly-valued or merely be tolerated depending on the position.

The wide variety of experience reveals that they are highly trainable and are willing to learn. However, pay attention to their lengths of service, especially when relative to the industry average of that job.

What can be a willingness to learn can quickly turn into attitude problems if you discover that they do not stay in any one job for too long.

Generalists can be a mixed bag, so you need to be thorough in your evaluation to see if they can be suitable for your position.


Generalists are great for jobs with multidisciplinary functions. Because of their wide variety of experience, they might make great administrators, secretaries, and even project managers for the right company.

Even if you don’t put them in a multidisciplinary job, the fact that they have had many careers speaks to their willingness to learn new things.


The worst of the generalists is a person who doesn’t have the commitment or dedication to stick to one job for long. They might quickly get bored, or maybe they don’t like it when things get tough. Personality traits such as those are detrimental to any team. 

What You Should Do

The complete version of the saying actually goes, “Jack of all trades, master of none. Sometimes better than a master of one.”

This sentence has never been more true than with a Generalist applicant. Their wealth of experience and technical knowledge can bring significant benefits to a job position, as long as you manage to separate the best.

As always, diligent research is the key. To detect uncommitted generalists, examine their job history well.

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The Network Navigator

Navigators are expert social butterflies who leverage their connections to connect with the right people. They often get a bad rep for using their connections this way, but most don’t realize that their networking skills can be an excellent addition to your team.


Navigators are social people. They might not have fit the stereotypes in your head — these days, introverts can be as social as can be through message boards, forums, and other online means.

Nevertheless, this is an underrated benefit; a competent Navigator knows someone for everything in their specific field, so they’re convenient to have around during projects.

Not to mention, their social skills themselves will make them more likely to be cooperative and trainable.


You need to separate good Navigators from those who are just well-connected with nothing to show for it. Watch out for warning signs of being manipulative and willing to use people for their ends.

More than that, take care that you don’t hire people who expect to be employed solely by virtue of their connections alone. They still need to have the requisite qualifications to be considered worthy of your time.

What You Should Do

You need to be careful in evaluating Navigators. Since they have many connections, follow the grapevine yourself and let their reputation tell you your next steps.

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The Perfect Fit

Legend has it that once in a blue moon, recruiters come across someone who is a perfect fit for the open position.

However, most recruiters overlook the fact that there is no single template for a Perfect Fit; the specific job position, your company, and the team they will be working with will determine what mixtures of hard and soft skills will become Perfect Fit.

This makes these types of applicants incredibly rare to find. However, your job as a recruiter is to sift through the masses to find this applicant.


Applicants like these will be incredibly beneficial for your team. Perfect Fits don’t just have the requisite qualifications and experience; their soft skills, characters, and attitudes will also merge well with your company culture.


Take care of your expectations should you find a person who seems to be perfect for the role. Just because they have the qualifications and did well in the interview doesn’t mean that they won’t make any mistakes in the future.

What You Should Do

A recruiter’s job is to look for that one Perfect Fit for any open position. Sure, sometimes you might not get a perfect candidate — but more often than not, these people fly under the radar until you miss them.

As a recruiter, do your best to give everyone a fair and critical assessment to avoid missing out on great opportunities like this.

Types of Jobseekers You’ll Meet As A Hiring Manager

Jobseekers are individuals with their own unique personalities, ideals, and capabilities.

This list of the different types of jobseekers is far from definitive and exhaustive. Rather, they are broad brush strokes, useful tools when making quick assessments. The real world won’t be so neat as described in this list, so you still need to do your best to make the best evaluation possible.

One of the ways you can do that is by using HireNest.

HireNest is a recruitment platform that offers plenty of valuable tools and features that save you time and let you make more powerful assessments.

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