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6 Attributes To Look For in a New Hire – How to Find & Attract the Best

Filling an open role within your organization is a time-consuming process, and an ideal outcome is far from assured. How can you be sure that the candidates you’re considering represent the best fit for your needs—and that you hire the most promising of the group?

Look for candidates with the right mix of personal and professional capabilities, not just those who give polished answers to your interview questions.

To be sure, different companies have different needs. These needs change throughout the business lifecycle. The ideal candidate for an early-stage startup might not be the ideal candidate for a larger, more established organization.

Still, these six attributes are widely prized across a broad swath of the business community.

1. Exceptional Work Ethic

“A strong work ethic energizes you and your employees to face your challenges head-on, be your best and keep you at the top of your game,” writes Forbes contributor Jacqueline Whitmore. In short, employees who go the extra mile are indispensable to your team.

Look for employees who’ve consistently demonstrated in past positions that they can get the job done. Ask questions about their willingness to work hard, and speak with references to corroborate their stories.

2. Personal Accountability

Honesty and integrity are essential qualities in any workplace.

“Quality employees infuse their work with integrity,” says Miami entrepreneur George Otte. “They take pride in their successes and responsibility for their failures.”

Accountability is a key attribute to a healthy work environment and supports the achievement of business growth plans and organizational objectives.

3. Effective Communication Skills

Great employees possess effective written and verbal communication skills. It’s important to acknowledge that not all jobs require truly excellent writing or speaking capabilities, but most positions require adequacy on both fronts. Employees with subpar communication skills are more likely to create confusion or avoidable disagreements within their teams.

4. Willingness To Take On New Roles

Flexibility is a crucial attribute in the modern workplace. As your organization’s objectives and approaches change, you need to rely on your employees to adjust accordingly. Employees who express an unwillingness to learn new skills or grow into new roles may put you at a competitive disadvantage to companies with more flexible workforces.

5. The Ability To Learn on the Job

A related skill is the ability to learn on the job. On the day they’re hired, even highly qualified candidates don’t always have all the competencies necessary for their new roles. Look for individuals who demonstrate a willingness and capability to acquire new skills or certifications that can benefit your organization and positively affect the trajectories of their own careers.

6. Humility

Quality employees are not afraid to admit that they don’t have all the answers. Look for candidates who seem genuinely interested in taking lessons from those who have more knowledge and experience than they. Such employees perform better in collaborative environments and are more predictable representatives of your company.


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