January 17, 2017

5 Qualities to Look For in New Hires

The performance of your company hinges on your employees – so making sure you hire talented individuals while retaining your top performers should be an utmost priority. In this highly competitive job market, you need to make sure you are hiring the ideal candidate, not just for the position itself, but for your company as a whole. Your effectiveness in doing so plays a pivotal role in engagement levels, as well as retention rates. 

There are a lot of different factors you need to take into consideration when vetting candidates. Of course, an individual’s resume, experience and education will give you a pretty good idea of his or her qualifications. However, there are other traits to look for that can help determine whether a potential new hire has what it takes to excel within your organization – ones that go beyond what you may be able to identify from their resume and cover letter alone. 

As I recently explained in an interview with Zip Recruiter, everything about a company – its performance, culture and processes – comes down to its employees. Your staff fuels your business and fosters the workforce environment. 

That is why when you are recruiting and hiring candidates, you should be on the lookout for the following qualities:

1. They are positive

Employees who bring a positive energy to the work environment can go a long way. Having a good attitude and an enthusiasm for the work being done creates a level of energy that benefits not only the productivity of the organization, but the attitude of other workers as well. Moods and feelings are contagious, so making sure you have staff members who are generally happy to come to work every day is crucial. After all, it’s almost impossible to maintain high levels of engagement and strong work ethic if the workplace is clouded with negativity.

2. They are curious

You know someone is a great hire when they consistently demonstrate a hunger to learn and a thirst for knowledge. Finding someone who is curious – and comfortable – enough to ask questions is important because that is how progress is made. These are the workers who will be both willing and able to acquire new skills on the job and develop themselves professionally in tandem with the needs of the organization. Candidates who show an innate curiosity can help business leaders consider new perspectives and ways of doing things that they may not otherwise have.

3. They are genuine

If you want to have a healthy corporate culture, you need to be able to trust your staff. This becomes a lot easier to do when you have employees who are transparent and authentic individuals. Integrity can go a long way in the business environment. Someone who shows that they are not only able but eager to follow through on their promises exemplifies someone with a strong and moral work ethic. This is especially important if you employ a remote workforce: You want people who can be trusted to do the right thing, even when no one is watching.

4. They are collaborative

Even if someone is in a role where they work individually most of the time, people skills are necessary in the workplace. Candidates who show a willingness to work in teams, get along with other people, be empathetic listeners and generally demonstrate healthy and respectful communication skills will make the office a much more enjoyable place to be in every week. 

Perhaps this is why, according to a National Association of Colleges and Employers survey, leadership and the ability to work in a team are two of the most important qualities employers look for in candidates today.

5. They think big

Being able to think outside the box and bring creative, unique solutions to the table is so important, especially in today’s modern workforce. With more business processes being automated, having staff members who can think critically and who are able to adapt in this ever-evolving digital era we now live is a valuable commodity. 

Similar to having people who are eager to learn and improve, it is also helpful to have employees who can be agile in their approach to their work. The “My way or the highway” mentality is not conducive to the workplace, so finding candidates who can adjust their approach and mindset on an as-needed basis is important. You want your employees to be committed to their work, yet flexible in their approach to it!

Deb LaMere

Deb LaMere is the Vice President of Employee Experience at Ceridian. With 17 years’ experience in human resources, Deb is responsible for employee engagement, talent management and performance management for Ceridian.

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