Candidates participating in recruitment processes are usually expected to be highly involved. Recruiters, who decide to hire or reject them, should show the same commitment. Hiring a person should be preceded by a thorough analysis and thoughtful reflection. A candidate thesis can be a valuable tool allowing hiring managers to make an informed decision about a candidate’s potential fit for the job. In this blog post, we will explain what the candidate thesis is, how to create one, and how it can benefit your recruitment process. Read on to find out more.

What is a candidate thesis? – table of contents:

  1. What is a candidate thesis?
  2. Why is a candidate thesis important?
  3. How to write a candidate thesis?
  4. Summary

What is a candidate thesis?

The candidate thesis is a written opinion on why a job candidate should be hired. Such a document summarizes a candidate’s strengths, weaknesses, skills, and experience, as well as any assessments or feedback from references. Creating a candidate thesis requires a hiring manager to conduct a thorough analysis of the outcomes of the candidate’s work or interview, and sometimes also to compile the results of the interview scorecard (if this solution is used in your company). However, this doesn’t end here – it is also important to use this feedback later on (e.g. after 6 months) to examine whether the predictions made before the hiring process have proven to be accurate.

candidate thesis

Why is a candidate thesis important?

The candidate thesis is a valuable tool for improving and optimizing recruitment processes. Writing it prompts the hiring manager to reflect on and carefully consider why a candidate is the ideal person for a particular position and how they will fit into the company, team, and organizational culture. This leads to better decision-making and positive recruitment outcomes.

Additionally, the thesis can be revisited after some time (3 months, 6 months, or a year) to assess the accuracy of the earlier predictions through retrospection. This process also allows for the evaluation of the recruiter’s ability to identify suitable candidates and provides insights for better decision-making in the future, ultimately leading to shorter recruitment processes.

How to write a candidate thesis?

What to include in the candidate’s thesis? The key feature that sets this type of document apart is the presentation of the anticipated outcomes of the candidate’s actions, including their successes and failures in the first few months of the new job. However, it’s important to note that success or failure should not be solely based on high-stake actions that affect the entire company, such as acquiring a critical client or making a costly mistake.

Instead, it should focus on factors such as easily fitting into the team (success) or failing to demonstrate initiative (failure). Conducting a thorough analysis before hiring is crucial to gain significant insights in the retrospective process – when the assumptions made during the recruitment process are tested in practice.

To present a candidate’s potential failures or successes accurately, it’s necessary to summarize their key attributes in the document (both positive or negative) that can contribute to them, for example, personality traits and skills you identified in the recruitment process.

Then, it’s important to analyze which attributes can be a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses (and sometimes both) and provide examples. After identifying relevant attributes and their implications, create a concise hypothesis of potential outcomes for the candidate’s first six months, encompassing both success and failure paths.


One of the most important, and at the same time, the most difficult decisions a company can make is whether to hire or reject a particular candidate. After all, it may turn out that you hired a person who is totally unsuitable for a given role, team or organizational culture. On the contrary, you may also resign from a candidate with outstanding skills (for example, due to a poor presentation or proximity bias). Therefore, it’s crucial to devote enough time to accurately reflect on each person and write a good candidate thesis.

Read also: What is workforce planning?

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Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.