Do you know what to look for when hiring a new employee? Great employees come in all shapes and sizes, but most share a handful of characteristics that set them apart from their “merely” good counterparts. (Nothing against good employees — there’s room for them in the workforce too.)
Keeping in mind that your company’s needs are likely to vary from companies in other industries, and possibly even your close competitors, you should favor candidates with these five traits.
Vibrant, Outgoing Personalities
By now, most of the jobs that require no personality at all have been automated out of existence. Those that remain demand, well humanity. Even if you’re hiring for a STEM-y position and don’t expect your new grunt to see the light of day very often, you’ll want him or her to bring something warm, unique, personal to the table. His or her colleagues, not to mention your clients and vendors, will surely notice.
Effective Communication Skills
Personality and effective communication tend to go hand in hand say entrepreneurs like Steve Voudouris. It’s nevertheless important to independently confirm that your candidate can in fact string two spoken sentences together, and write in passable English. That is unless you don’t want to know what they’re talking or emailing about half the time. In which case, your favored candidate will quickly become your least favored candidate.
Willingness to Forget the Clock
Whether you’re hiring for a modestly paid hourly gig or a well-compensated white collar role, the last person you want on the job is a clock-watcher — someone who’s physically present, but not really there, and can’t wait to ghost at the end of the day (or scheduled shift). Look for candidates who seem willing to push beyond the bounds of the plain-vanilla job description and ignore the clock when crunch time comes.
In an age of ever-shrinking attention spans, multi-tasking skills are right up there in importance with the ability to repeat one’s own name. But that doesn’t mean every job candidate has them. Your hiring process should subject candidates to objective tests of multi-tasking skills and ruthlessly weed out those who can’t pass muster.
Refusal to Pass the Buck
No man or woman is an island, at least not in today’s economy. Candidates who refuse to own up to their mistakes, or actively blame others for their shortcomings, have no place in your organization — and they know it.
Make Sure They Stick Around
Hiring rockstars is only half the battle. In an increasingly tight labor market, retention is just as important as attraction. If you don’t give your employees every incentive to stick around, they might look for greener pastures. The finer points of ensuring that your employees reward you with their loyalty are fodder for a whole other post, of course. In the meantime, what are you doing to make sure the rockstars reach your doorstep in the first place?