Five Traits to Look for in Your Next Hire

Hiring the right candidate is a process, and it means more than finding a person with the most technical skills and aptitudes. What do employers look for when differentiating the average candidates from the topnotch? While every business has its own culture, there are some top employee characteristics that are universal. Understanding these desirable employee traits – and recognizing them in applicants – can dramatically improve your recruitment efforts. Here are five key traits to seek in your next hire.

In a recent poll which studied desirable traits of job candidates, Career Builder reported that 51% of respondents chose flexibility. A good employee will not resist change; he will be flexible and adaptable. Flexible employees will embrace change and adapt to it in ways that will benefit a team or department. When you’re considering a potential hire, find out how flexible the person is. Asking key questions can help you discern if a candidate is flexible. Does the candidate do best in calm and predictable environments? Is the person able to shift gears quickly and smoothly? How does the candidate handle uncertainty? Is the applicant comfortable with unknown elements of a job? The answers to these questions can provide a basic understanding of the applicant’s flexibility.

Emotional Intelligence
It’s great to find smart candidates, but what matters more than academic intelligence? According to the World Economic Forum’s list of top 10 skills that employees will need to thrive at work, emotional intelligence was ranked sixth. Emotional intelligence refers to a candidate’s ability to perceive, understand, and manage their own emotions and feelings. This self-knowledge benefits an employee in many ways. According to Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, people with a high EQ (shorthand for emotional intelligence) have a greater ability to self-regulate, and higher levels of motivation. This may lead to improved self-confidence, and the ability to focus on reaching long-term goals.

According to an article in Psychology Today magazine, resilience is a person’s ability to bounce back from and grow through challenges, changes, and adversity. Employers want employees who can withstand challenges and unpredictable events that occur in business without affecting their motivation and health. Studies suggest that resilient employees are physically healthier than people who are not. Resilient employees also perform better under pressure because stress and conflicts do not negatively impact them. They draw on their own mental strength during difficult situations and bounce back quickly when obstacles or problems arise.

Highly Intuitive
There are several benefits to hiring intuitive employees. Having employees with good instincts and intuition allows them to sense when something isn’t quite right with your co-workers and/or clients. Intuitive employees are able to quickly identify their mission and sense of purpose within an organization. Employees who listen to their intuition also understand risk in business situations. When working on a project, they understand when to proceed with caution, which is critical for all types of businesses.

Intuitive employees also follow their gut instinct when it suggests they steer clear of something. Intuition is not a trainable skill or trait, yet it’s important and valuable for employees to have. People tend to listen to their intuition or ignore it. You’ll want to hire candidates who let their intuitive personality work in all aspects of their lives.

Team Player
After bringing an employee on board, you don’t want to find out that your employee doesn’t work well in a team. According to CareerBuilder, 60 percent of hiring managers look for team-oriented candidates when recruiting employees. Many businesses succeed based on the work of teams, not just individuals. As you review resumes and start interviewing, it’s crucial to find candidates with a history of collaboration, and someone who is comfortable giving and receiving constructive feedback to team members.

Ask your candidates to share situations in which they were effective collaborators and worked well within a team structure. This helps you better understand the applicant’s team-building skills and comfort level working in groups.

Finding the right candidate to do the job isn’t a seamless process. But an employee with a good blend of technical skills and personal traits will be an asset to any organization. As you formulate interview questions for your next potential hire, add questions that will highlight these key traits and competencies.

Hiring the best employee for your team doesn’t have to be difficult. Underwood Edge can help you identify the attributes and experience your next team member needs to be successful. When you’re ready to hire new talent, contact us to help you make the best hire for your organization. We will guide you through a few simple steps and deliver the perfect addition to your team.

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