Top 9 Qualities to Look for When Hiring Employees

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According to one survey, 74% of people say they have made the wrong choice when hiring an employee.  

With the Great Resignation and the rise of the candidate’s market, many companies wonder how they’re going to hire employees to fill open positions. This is why many companies have started looking for candidates’ soft skills rather than hard skills. 

Soft skills relate to how an employee works and what their personality is like. Keep reading to discover the top nine qualities to look for when hiring employees. 

1. Confidence

A confident employee will often also be productive. If an employee isn’t confident in their abilities, they may not be able to manage tasks or might have too much hesitancy to complete a project. If a manager doesn’t seem like they can trust them, they may not depend on that employee either. 

Recruiters or hiring managers should identify if job candidates are confident during the interview. However, there are some key things to look for.

Many confident people can adapt to a new role very quickly. They will know when to ask for help and when to try and figure it out independently.

They will always be looking for ways to improve their skills. They might want on-the-job training or wish to pursue their education even more. 

Employees who are confident welcome any challenge in the workplace because they know their abilities are enough to overcome anything you throw at them.

2. Communication

Throughout the hiring process, make a note of how the candidate communicates with you. They may not have excellent communication skills if they don’t keep you updated or never respond to your messages. 

Every employee will need good communication skills, whether working with partners, clients, or coworkers. Even if you don’t do an in-person interview, you can still gauge someone’s skills over the phone or through email. 

An excellent communicator will get their message across even in a written way. They will also know how to listen when someone gives them feedback or instructions. 

You’ll know someone is a good candidate if they’re open to feedback, ask questions, and is open and engaging when you communicate with them.

3. Ability to Work on a Team

Even if your new employees are working on their own, you should still find someone who can work on a team before sending a job offer. This is a typical characteristic that most recruiters look for in job seekers, but it’s essential.

It would be best to find someone who can see other team members as an equal and still put in as much work as they expected. Companies need team players on their staff, making this one of the most important qualities for an employee to have. 

You can gauge this in an interview by asking them how they work with others. What is their working style? If they usually work alone, how does it feel for them to collaborate with a team?

4. Emotional Intelligence

According to one survey, 71% of employers valued emotional intelligence over IQ. Some hiring managers have even started calling emotional intelligence EQ.

When an employee is emotionally tuned in, they will make an effort to try and understand and empathize with coworkers. They’ll view the decisions, actions, and intentions differently, which can help interpersonal relationships. 

When interpersonal relationships are better, team collaboration will be easier, and the business performance will also get better. 

Another factor of emotional intelligence is empathy. For example, when business managers can be empathetic towards their employees, they’ll seem more understanding. This will make employees feel happier, heard, and valued, which will also help improve your employee retention. 

5. Culture Fit

Determining if a new employee will fit into your company culture will differ for each company. It’s not just about who you would like to work with or who you think would make a good friend outside of work.

It’s more about finding someone who can understand how your workplace works. The new hire will need to be okay with the lifestyle and the pace of the work at your company. That person will also need to be okay with remote, hybrid, or in-person work (depending on which option you offer). 

Keep in mind that the culture can also be different across teams. It might be a good idea to sit down with each team member and figure out what’s important to them and what they look for in the values and traits of a coworker. 

6. Positivity

It can be hard for hiring managers to determine if a candidate has a positive attitude because most candidates might appear positive during the interview. 

However, it’s still an important quality to look for because having a positive attitude is linked closely with being a professional in the workplace. Even if you’re trying to fill an entry-level position, you need to find someone passionate about their work and excited to work for your company

When they’re enthusiastic, this energy can help positively affect their workplace, but it will affect all their coworkers as well. 

To help determine if a candidate will have a positive attitude about their work, you can ask them how this job fits into their career plan.

This will clue you in on how much they know about your company and the culture. Figure out if they see this as a stepping stone or a meaningful chapter in their career. If it’s the first answer, they may not feel pleased about working at your company. 

7. Potential

While you might have a lot of qualified candidates applying to your job description on job boards, it can be easy to get lost in the flood of promising candidates. If you’re in a rush to fill the position, you may even make a mistake.

However, you need to focus more on the soft skills, like potential, rather than if a candidate meets all technical requirements.

If someone doesn’t meet all of the requirements, do they have potential? You might easily teach some of these skills to a candidate who would be perfect for the job. As long as you find a candidate who is adaptable, willing to learn, and loves to be challenged, you should find a good candidate. 

To find someone who has potential or adaptability, figure out if they advanced in their last job or had different positions within the company. Also, advanced degrees could show that they’re interested in learning new things and taking on many different roles.

8. Loyalty

With the Great Resignation, loyalty is becoming a trait that is being redefined. While most companies used to want people who would stay for decades at a company, it’s now standard to have employees hop jobs after one or two years. 

Recruiter.com’s CEO, Evan Sohn, explained that: “We are currently transitioning into the job hopper economy, and I believe it’s here to stay. This means employees will be leaving their companies quicker and more frequently than ever before – in fact, 60% of millennials are willing to leave their job within the first year.” 

However, companies can still look for employees who have a shorter tenure than was previously acceptable, like one or two years. While things do happen, if employees don’t stay at a company for more than a month, you may want to ask what the reason was. 

9. Honesty

Lastly, honesty is an important quality you want your staff to have. Some applicants might feel like they have to lie on their resumes or exaggerate their accomplishments to get the job. However, if they do this, you don’t know if you’ll fully be able to trust them as employees. 

You want to find an applicant who will be honest if they make a mistake and find a way to make it right. You may want to ask a question in the interview if they’ve had an instance of that happen and how they handled it. 

Discover More About What to Look For When Hiring Employees

These are only the top nine qualities to look for when hiring employees, but there are many more to consider during the hiring process. 

We know that it can be challenging to hire all these employees on your own, especially if you need to fill many open or specialized positions. This is why we’re here to help.

We can offer you recruiters as you need them to fill positions and an advanced talent subscription service to deliver qualified candidates right to your email.

Contact us today to learn more!

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Read more in Hiring Process

Alyssa Harmon is the content manager of Recruiter Today.
https://www.recruiter.com