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10 Qualities To Look For In Your Potential Employee

10 Qualities to Look for In Your Potential Employee

As an employer, you have a huge responsibility to see who you take on board; because the consequences of a bad hire can be irrevocable. An ineffective employee can lower the company’s productivity level. For instance, you may have invested an equal amount of resources in the staff member, but are experiencing less output from them. Other employees may be forced to take on additional responsibilities to compensate for the lacking of a bad employee. They may have to work extra hours or perform duties that are not even part of their job description. And all of this can lead to employee burnout.

A bad hire also has a negative attitude that can have a ripple effect on other employees – as they may not feel comfortable in their work environment. These issues reinforce the importance of recruiting only the best employee.

If you have a new job position recently opened in your organization, your aim will definitely be to look for the best hire. However, the question is what constitutes the “best hire” after all. Here are some of the most sought-after qualities of an employee. Look for these traits when interviewing a candidate to ensure you have made the headway!

1. Goal-Oriented

A determined employee is clear about what they seek and want in their career. They always have a career goal in their mind and are always ready to achieve it within a set time limit.

Hiring such an employee can prove to be great in many ways. Goal-oriented employees take their duties very seriously, no matter how insignificant they are. They focus on their work whole-mindedly so that they can generate the expected output. They will never slack at work because, again, they are all about achieving their targets, meeting deadlines, and whatnot.

To check if a candidate is goal-oriented, you should ask them “where they see themselves in the next five years,” “how they measure their success,” “how this job position will help them achieve their career goal” or “what their short-term or long-term career goals are” and the like.

2. Happy, Positive Attitude

According to a famous leadership coach – Mark Murphy – most employees fail to deliver optimum performance because of their unhealthy attitudes. An optimistic attitude is linked to business professionals.

Even if you’re looking to fill an entry-level position, you will consider someone who is more excited and eager to work. When an employee has a positive attitude, it reflects in their performance too. An enthusiastic employee can inspire others to be as motivated and proactive. All of this creates a healthy office environment.

When interviewing a candidate, ask them “why they applied for a job position,” “how they think they are the right fit for the job position,” or “what strengths they possess.”

3. Team Player/ Co-operation

In many situations, employees will be required to work together. Even though many tasks are supposed to be done alone, there will be tasks that need to be done as a team. It’s important to see how a candidate can fit in with the rest of the team members and how much they can contribute to teamwork. Hence, you need to look for a candidate that is co-operative and participative. You can ascertain these qualities by asking, “tell me about a group project you were part of as part of a team.”

Make sure to ask follow-up questions such as “what was the size of the group,” “what responsibilities you had,” “the scope of the project,” “how successful you were in achieving the project goal,” etc. Another great way to gauge an applicant’s skill is by asking – do you enjoy working in a team or prefer to handle a project independently? , “what are your preferences in a group setting?” etc.

4. Flexibility

There are situations when both employees and employers have to adapt to sudden changes or handle different types of people. A highly flexible staff member will act with optimum composure in these circumstances. They won’t lose their cool, no matter how challenging the situation gets. In fact, they will take it as a good challenge and an opportunity to hone their skills.

To understand what it is like to be flexible is by considering this hypothetical situation – an employee had to be fired because of poor performance, and hence other employees have to deal with the increased workload. In such a situation, a great employee won’t hesitate to respond to an abrupt change and will be willing to do additional work until the company finds a replacement soon.

To ensure the employee you hire is adaptable, you should ask them situational questions such as what if you get an urgent project at the eleventh hour, how will you deal with it?. You can also ask them if they worked in a situation in which they had to adjust to sudden changes over which they had little to no control over.

5. Ambitious and Driven

Organizations prefer passionate and committed employees for a reason. That’s because these employees work hard and give their best at all times. They are super-efficient and go above and beyond what is asked of them.

Ambitious employees stay motivated even when they fail. They don’t take failure as a final answer and always look for ways to improve themselves and their work. They never cease to impress their employers and look for opportunities that help them move up the ladder.  A candidate that demonstrates these qualities through their tests and interviews has greater chances of getting hired. Hiring managers can identify these traits by asking them “why you consider yourself the perfect fit for this job,” “why you want us to hire you,” “how you can be an asset to the company,” etc.

Another way to find out the ambition level of the candidate is by reviewing their resume or cover letter thoroughly. Most driven and passionate applicants have achievements under their belt. See if their resumes or cover letter talks about their accomplishments. Please note that ambitious candidates are not only those that have won an award or a medal, but they may also be those who have shone through their performance at work or non-educational activities – internships, volunteer work, etc.

6. Trustworthy

Hiring a reliable employee is a significant aim for any employer. You want an employer that shows up on time, gives their best to a project, is ready to tackle unlikely or unexpected situations, and obeys company’s rules and regulations, and never misuses the company’s resources.  However, finding such an employee is not always that easy.

It’s hard to determine a candidate’s integrity in the first interview. It’s a soft skill that you can successfully measure only after hiring an employee. Even after taking them into employment, you will have to wait a few weeks or months to assess the employee’s dependability in all honesty. That being said, there are ways you can still determine if the candidate is trustworthy. For example, you can ask them – “how would you describe work ethics?” or “how would you describe professionalism?” You can also enquire them to discuss a situation where they had to go beyond their call of duty to get a job done.

Ask follow-up questions for more clarifications, such as what job opportunities they had and how they employed the company’s resources to get the work done, etc. Don’t worry about made-up scenarios. With the right follow-up questions, you will be able to tell apart from true stories to fabricated ones.

7. Possesses Common Sense and Accurate Critical Judgment

So many stories appear in media or newspapers about how an employee made one wrong decision and costs thousands or millions of dollars to their company or how an employee stained their company’s reputation with their poor decisions or misconduct with a client. Hiring people with common sense and a good sense of judgment is critical to avert these problems from occurring in the first place.

Employees with a reasonable rationale always assess the risks before they make a decision on behalf of their company. They put their company’s interests before their own personal interests. It’s not like that these employees never violate their company’s policies. When need be, they do defy them but for the right reasons only, and even when they do, they take their employers into their confidence. In other words, they don’t function independently in matters of their company.

8. Equipped with Problem-Solving Skills

Companies are always looking for employees that can take on any challenge thrown their way. When you’re faced with a problem, you have to tap into your problem-solving skills such as research, teamwork, emotional intelligence, risk management, decision making, and many more. A candidate with potential problem-solving skills will surely mention these qualities in their resume. You can also ask them to tell you about a difficult project they got and how they solved it or tell you about a tough situation that they had to deal with at work all by themselves. You can also ask the candidate if they failed at solving a difficult task; if so, what they learned from it. This will further demonstrate how self-aware the person is – which is another great quality to possess.

The downside of asking these types of interview questions is that anyone can fabricate a story, making it difficult for you to tell if they are being honest with you. What you can do instead is give your potential employer a situation and ask them how they would solve it. For example, if you’re interviewing a candidate for a sales job, you can interrogate them how they will deal convince a tough client into buying a product – let’s say a mobile phone charger.

9. Possesses Good Communication Skills

According to research, 98% of employers believe that effective communication skills are essential for their prospective employees.

We assume that by the time you have a potential employer for an interview, you may have gotten a rough idea of their communication skills. It’s possible that you have corresponded with them via emails, or you have gone through their professional profiles, etc. Make sure you closely observe how much the candidate has paid attention to detail in these various forms of communications.

To have a greater idea of their communication skills during an interview, give your candidate a chance to speak at length. Ask them open-ended questions so that you can assess how confident, friendly, accurate, precise, or respectful, etc. the candidate is while answering your questions.

10. Creativity

Creativity is one of the best skills that enable you to think of a new way to perform a task or a unique way to resolve a challenge. All in all, it helps you look at things from a unique perspective. Therefore, hiring teams appreciate candidates that have the ability to think out of the box.

One way to approach a candidate is by asking them to discuss a time when they performed a project in a smarter or more efficient manner.  You can also present them with problems and ask them to suggest creative solutions. Strong job candidates will be eager to recommend their ideas. Hearing their suggestions will also motivate or excite you to utilize them in any capacity.

We hope the list helps you find the best employee or reinforce the qualities you already know that will be perfect for your organization. Never rush the recruiting process. Take your time and always rely on your better judgment and of those in your hiring committee to make the right decision!

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