Top 5 Traits and Qualities to Look for in a Candidate

The coronavirus took a severe hit on the economy, forcing many businesses to pause or slow down production. Thousands of workers were displaced as a result, but now, as social distancing restrictions begin to relax, roles are reopening that need to be quickly refilled.

If you want to prevent your company from crashing under the economic pressure, you need to have an adequately sized staff in place—your team is critical to increasing business sales revenues. But, at the same time, be careful not to rush into any hiring decisions too soon. Making a bad choice could prove detrimental to the fate of your company if the employee were to cause a major slip-up in the future.

Always take the time to look for qualities that indicate a good employee. Here are five traits that should be at the top of your list.

Responsible

You want to be certain that whoever you hire will arrive for work on time, manage project deadlines appropriately, and take accountability for their assignments. After all, you’re entrusting a part of your business into their hands, so it’s important to know that the candidate is responsible and capable. But how can you trust the information they supply on a job application?

You can’t simply take them at their word; many applicants have been known to lie on their resume—especially now, when the job market is so competitive. That’s why you should always include a background check during your hiring process. How long does a background check take? Only a couple of days! You might be rushed to recruit employees, but never skip over this critical step.

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Talented

Hopefully, their resume and cover letter speak to their past experience in a relevant role. But how do you know if they were actually good at their job? Depending on the position you’re hiring for, it could be a good idea to ask for examples of prior work. For example, if you’re hiring a designer, writer, or web developer, ask to see their portfolio of projects they’ve worked on to evaluate the quality. You could also ask a job applicant to take an on-site skill assessment test to determine if they have the knowledge required for the position. Establishing these steps now could save you a ton of time down the road.

Positive Personality

To maintain a positive work environment, you need to fill it with positive people! They come to work with a smile on their face and never complain about the tasks they need to do. Customer service is always delivered with a smile, and they never mind discussing past mistakes to build a better performance.

Team Player

Another important quality to look for is how well an employee can play as a team member. While you want a motivated self-starter, the hire should also be capable of working as a group and getting along nicely with others. You might consider hosting panel interviews to get a better sense of the team’s synergy to confirm a good match.

Great Communicator

Communication is one of the most important “soft skills” employers look for when fielding potential hires. Start paying attention from the first interaction. How long did they take to reply to your email? Was the spelling accurate? How do they present themselves over the phone? What about in person? What is their body language like—confident and assertive, or distracted and anxious? Were they actively listening, or just waiting for their turn to talk?

Be mindful of these traits throughout the hiring process so you can find a great employee. It’s true that communication can be learned, but establishing this early on is far superior than training.

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Wrapping Up

The processes involved in human resource management are rather time-consuming, and as a business owner, time is a thing that’s hard to come by. Use it efficiently by bringing on the best employees who reflect the most important traits in a worker.

Which ones you prioritize is a matter of personal preference and your organization’s needs. For example, if you’re working from home post-COVID, then you might not need a team player as much as a reliable remote worker. As long as you take the time to carefully consider every candidate, you’ll be off to a good start.

 

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