Qualities to Look for in a New Employee

The success of your business relies on many things. A well laid-out plan is essential. Your location is crucial. Offering a good product for a price point people can afford brings you your clients. As equal to all of these ingredients, are your employees. Your staff is very much like a babysitter. Parents spend time, as they should, selecting just the right person to care for their children while they’re away from them. And while our children are a whole other entity from a business, it works the same. Your business is your baby. It pays your bills and provides for your family. You want the people that are caring for your business to be the best the world has to offer.

So what are some qualities you want to look for in that new business-sitter? For starters, unless your field requires someone with a degree, don’t count out someone that has experience as opposed to a degree. I’m not suggesting that someone with a college degree isn’t a good choice, of course. However, so much emphasis is put on degrees, that smart, hard-working candidates are over-looked. Many owners and staff members have built successful companies, yet didn’t pursue a higher education. That doesn’t decrease their value. There are obvious fields that absolutely require a degree. After all, who wants to go to a doctor that didn’t go to medical school?

One of the best determining factors of someone’s quality is finding out what other successes they’ve had in their life. Has this person been ambitious at other jobs or even in their personal life? Finding an individual that manages to fit a lot into their life is a great quality. Busy people get the most done. Sometimes a résumé doesn’t give you accurate information like a person’s character and work ethic. Perhaps the job they had before didn’t have opportunities to allow them to shine. This is where probing questions help to unveil their true strengths.

Can you carry on a conversation with your candidate? Are they friendly and personable? This isn’t to say that if they are a bit more introverted, that they wouldn’t be great. It depends on the position you’re looking to fill. However, you need to determine if they are going to represent your company well and get along with the rest of your staff. There are a few businesses where this might not matter, but not ordinarily.

Trying to find out how fast someone learns new skills is more challenging. You may be able to tell by looking at their résumé and what skills they’ve obtained throughout their time at other jobs. Generally speaking though, this is a trial and error situation as every workplace holds different tasks they will have to learn.

Having a team that has different abilities, talents, backgrounds and personalities is essential. Yet, it’s worth saying that you want to be sure they’re a good fit for the culture of your workplace. If your office is a loose one, hiring someone that offends easy or doesn’t share the spirit of your environment, it’s probably best to continue searching. It’s a recipe for disaster to add a reserved human being into a permissive organization.

I have a sign in my office that says, “When in doubt, tell the truth”. If you, or the person that does your hiring, has good intuition, you can usually tell if a person has an honest nature. That’s certainly not always true, but oftentimes is. Questioning whether your new hire can be trusted or not is the last thing you want.

Nobody likes a conceited person, but a confident person is an asset for sure. Add that with modesty, and you have the recipe for a true team player. This really should be at the top of the list (not that these are in any kind of order). Whether someone is a team player or not can make or break your business.

Lastly, ethics and integrity cannot be taught, no matter how many systems you have in place or training you have available. I would never want someone personifying my business in any way except ethical and upstanding. Customers tend not to return to a business that has cheated them or have been shady. You’ll never go wrong making character a top requirement for your crew.

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