Beyond Skills & Experience: 3 Important Qualities to Look for in a New Hire

Any new hire requires training to assimilate into a new role; some need specific skills for them to even get the job. But some of the factors essential to an employee’s success are difficult to teach. Sure, education and experience are important, and so is the growing trend to hire for team-fit and culture-fit. But as important as they are, they’re not the first nor only things to look for in a candidate. Think about this – before you find yourself a great team player, you need to first find a player who can and will play the game. Here are three other valuable qualities to consider when you’re hiring.

Work Ethic

Work ethic can be defined in many ways. In more traditional beliefs, work ethic meant being punctual, following instructions, working long hours. For modern day workplaces, we like to think of it more as a person’s curiosity and willingness to learn.

Hiring someone who is smart and skilled is obviously an instant win for the team, but those who tend to stay and thrive are the ones who have the constant drive to grow and improve. In an interview, for example, while you’ll be the one asking questions, the strongest candidates will come in with questions of their own whether about your company, product, or the position itself. A tip here – look for people with a can-do attitude and openness to learn, as opposed to someone who thinks they already know enough.

Common Sense & Critical Thinking

Whatever reason we have that has led to this realization, we’re all aware that common sense is, in fact, not so common. At work, it’s not a bad trait to follow directions and do exactly as asked. But employees who require work to be constantly spoon fed to them aren’t exactly what you want for a growing business.

Often tied to the way a person critically thinks, candidates with a good common sense have the ability to see the bigger picture and make appropriate judgements based on a situation. When given proper training, the right hire will know how to take off on their own. The next time you’re looking to hire, assign them a pre-hiring task on top of a standard interview. Put them to test and let them show you their thinking process and how they approach work.

Attention to Detail

The importance of being detailed is different from job to job. Roles that deal with numbers on the regular will require higher constant attention to detail compared to someone who does sales, for example. But even in the role of a salesperson, attentiveness is still required. Attention to detail can apply to the way you listen and talk to a customer. Though often times we consider this as a communication skill, without the right amount of observational and organizational skills, you’re missing out on opportunities where you can connect with your clients. What may seem like a minor quality in sales might just make you stand out from the rest.

The Hiring Mindset

There’s a lot of pressure on hiring, given that any turnover is a hefty expense to pay. But the desperation to fill a position can often lead to bad decisions being made. Be thorough with your candidates just as you wish they are with the work they do. Remember, to hire someone successful, you have to first find a candidate with the mindset to succeed. We hope this blog gives you enough direction and expectation on who to look for in your next talent hunt!