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5 Traits to Look For When Hiring New Employees

Want to know the top 5 traits of highly motivated and successful employees? Want to know where to start looking to ensure you have hired an A+ team? Summarized from various leadership conferences, case studies, and networking with rectuiters, I will save you weeks and months of anguish with the top list of qualities that are common with successful employees. These qualities make them outstanding candidates to hire to help your team be world-class and smash those management goals.

Characteristics Almost Every Successful Person Has

1. Disagreeable

The word disagreeable often has a negative connotation associated with it; however, progress cannot take place without someone willing to step up and do things their own way. I had the opportunity to attend a Malcolm Gladwellspeech where he emphasized that the most successful people are disagreeable. Now this does not mean they are disrespectful, they just know that to innovate, accomplish more than their peers, and be successful, sometimes you have to follow your own path and make decisions that nobody else is willing to do. For example, Dr. Freireich, the cancer biologist who is credited as the pioneer of cancer research and came up with chemotherapy, went against the whole medical field and designed his own drug. He risked his career, ignoring what his superiors were saying. Now this is an extreme example, and ignoring your superiors is actually not wanted in the hiring process, but the mindset of challenging set standards drives innovation and creates extremely successful employees. These people are often misinterpreted as disrespectful when making a first impression, but in fact, they just operate with higher standards of creativity and are willing to go off the beaten path to find their success.

2. Respectful


Respect is a simple concept. You should treat everyone how you would like to be treated. You wouldn’t want someone to work for you if he/she is disrespectful because he/she will represent the company. At a company, it is just as important to respect people’s time as it is their property. Before and after an interview the candidate should say thank you and give you a handshake. Most candidates forget to send follow-up thank-you emails, and it is these small gestures that separate the best from the average.

3. Inspiration


Another recurring characteristic I see in great candidates is that they are inspired and want to inspire others. There is a great quote that says, “I want to inspire others. I want someone to look at me and say, ‘Because of you I didn’t give up.’ ” I have found that the people who look for inspiration at younger ages end up inspiring their peers as they grow up. These traits don’t usually come from work, but outside activities such as sports, art, and other hobbies. They then transform into their work attitudes and drive people to be successful in their jobs. This drive to be inspired and to inspire others sets them apart.

4. Drive


Out of all these traits, I believe drive is one of the most important. If you are willing to do anything it takes to accomplish your task, then you are resilient. Businesses should look for this trait because these people are extremely efficient in their work and want to succeed in their job. They will be up for taking on more responsibility early in their position and will be up for a more hands-off approach. They are the types of people who can be asked to do something once and will follow through on what was asked of them.

5. Leadership


To be a true leader means to be able to step back and take charge with the people and not just bark out orders. Like I said before, I have been to many leadership conferences and I have learned again and again that it’s not always about the talent of the group, but the group’s ability to work together. As an ENTJ Meyers-Briggs personality type, I feel extremely at home in a leadership role, and I feel a leader should always lead by example. There are natural-born leaders, and then there are people who have to really work at it to gain respect from their peers. Either way, a successful leader knows that it’s more important for a team to work together than for a single person to be successful. Leaders are extremely adaptable and capable of working through hardships. It’s part of their resilience. Leaders have the ability to transform vision into reality, and they aren’t afraid to make tough decisions because they don’t shy away from failure; they embrace it. People look up to people who never quit and that’s why leadership, drive, and inspiration go hand in hand. A candidate who shows true leadership will always be a huge benefit to the team and willing to put in all the work asked of him or her.

Employee Traits

By no means do these exhaust the traits that a company should look for when hiring, but I have found disagreeable, respectful, inspirational, driven people who also embody leadership outperform many of their fellow employees. They are efficient, passionate and ready to take on any challenge presented.

Now let’s see how to put these employees to work. Check out 5 Customer Analytics You Should Be Measuring and Top 5 Secrets to Excellent Customer Service.