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7 Qualities To Look For When Hiring A New Employee

7 Qualities To Look For When Hiring A New Employee

It’s not an easy task to find your ideal employee. Whilst you will be provided with a short list of suitable candidates from your recruitment agency or HR team, ultimately it comes down to you in the interview to determine the most apt candidate for the role.

An important thing to remember is to hire on future success, what qualities does the potential employee have that can directly impact the success of the business in the long run? Some of the key qualities to consider in individuals are listed below:


1. Strong work ethic

The difference between a suitable candidate and a strong candidate is someone who possess a strong work ethic. Meaning, they embody certain principles that guide them in their day to day work. It is someone who displays reliability, hard work, dependability and dedication to the job.

During the interview process you can identify this quality from the following: does the candidate provide examples of high goals they have set for themselves? Can they tell you a time they responded well to goals set by their managers? And do they indicate a willingness to do more then just turn on and off their computer each day.


2. Positive attitude

A positive person is an asset to a business. They consistently stand out for their upbeat attitude and positive reputation. Their behaviour is contagious; creating a better environment and more productive workplace. It is someone who is hopeful and confident, thinks of the good aspects of a situation rather than the bad ones. However tedious or basic the task, a positive person goes about their work efficiently and happily.

To determine this quality, ask if the candidate can provide an example of a time when they made a mistake and what the positive outcome was or alternatively how they moved forward in a positive way from the mistake?


3. Team oriented

An employee who puts the team’s objectives above their own, uses their initiative to get things done without waiting to be asked, adapts quickly to changes and often drives a positive change are the backbone of any team.

Whilst interviewing think about how great your team currently is; will the candidate fit into this team dynamic? Do they have previous experience working in a team and a team similar to yours?


4. Ambitious

Someone who strongly desires to progress in their career, continuously doing their best because they have set goals and high expectations for themselves. They will go the extra mile to achieve the goals of the business as well as their own.

Does your candidate demonstrate an openness, a go-getter attitude and drive to be successful? Ask them to provide an example of a time they set professional or individual goals, what was their process to achieve them? Where there any challenges they had to overcome? And lastly were they able to achieve the goal?


5. Driven / self-motivated

Your ideal candidate is someone who can use their initiative, is proactive and gets the job done with little to no encouragement or micro-managing. They possess the stamina to perform outstanding work and consistently work hard. Their personality is to rise above adversity, problems or failure yet are enthusiastic, positive and encouraging to both themselves and team.

Ask for an example of an initiative or project they have had to run and be self-sufficient. What was the outcome? What did they learn or take away from the experience?


6. Adaptability

A good employee will not resist change, but instead embrace it and adapt to it as they understand it proves necessary to achieve the team or business goals as a whole.They are flexible in changing their priorities, schedules and strategy when something is thrown their way; whilst not getting stressed or feeling the need to complain.

Ask the candidate how they feel about the unknown elements of a job? Are they open and adaptable to shift the goal posts? You can feel confident your new employee will fit into the roles easily if they can demonstrate flexibility and willingness to pick up new skills.


7. Competence  

Simply it’s the ability to get the job done and done correctly. The employee is a high performer who possess the necessary skills and firsthand experience for the job. They are able to manage their time, priorities and deadlines; by identifying and separating relevant and irrelevant tasks. A good communicator whom takes ownership of their role and contributes with valuable suggestions and initiatives gained from their experience and knowledge.

Questions to ask - do they have a proven track record and experience in the role you’re considering them for? How do you keep up-to-date with your industry? Provide them with a situation and ask how they would solve it?


Although finding your ideal employee isn’t a quick and easy task, the above key qualities to look for when hiring an employee will guide you to determine the stand out candidates. Keep in mind not every applicant will possess every one of these qualities but this can be developed over time.


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