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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers!

Today’s Question: After 90 days, you should have a good idea whether a new employee will work out. What is the top trait you look for in new hires when evaluating whether to keep them on board? Why is that trait particularly important?

The answers below are provided by members of YEC Next, an invitation-only community for the world’s most promising early-stage entrepreneurs.


unnamed (1)1. Passion and Motivation

Passion is about believing in your idea. Passion creates a drive to persevere when you are tired, commitment when things look bleak, and conviction to make an idea a reality. Motivation is key to us. We want to know what motivates employees. That way, I can get to know their aspirations better and understand what they are bringing to the business.

Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs

unnamed2. A Proactive Nature

Is this person doing the minimum to get by, or are they doing their job and then one thing above that? It’s the people who are proactive who help you get your business to the next level. You can see this in their words. Do they actually care and ask questions that go deeper than simply doing a task?

Jim Huffman, Growthhit

kyle3. Commitment to the Mission

We’re a small startup, so it’s incredibly important that every core member of our team is completely committed to the mission, vision, and values of our company. We’ve seen that this level of commitment can determine whether or not someone is willing to stay late or work on the weekend in order to complete a necessary task or solve a crucial problem. Beyond ability, complete buy-in is crucial.

Kyle Wiggins, Keteka

unnamed4. Having ‘GWC’

I’d have to use ideas from How to Be a Great Boss by Gino Wickman. There really have to be three things, not one. They have to “GWC”: Get it, want it, and have capacity. They need to understand the job they have to do, they have to want to do it, and they need the mental/physical capacity to do it. If any of those three are missing after the first 90 days, they are likely not the one for the job.

Ryan Meghdies, Tastic Marketing, Inc.

james5. Impressing Others

The top trait I look for is if this person continues to impress others with their behavior. Good people will continue to impress you by going the extra mile, reminding you of top priorities, and getting things done faster and better than you expected. If the new employee is simply getting things done at expectation, that’s likely not good enough.

James Hu, Jobscan

unnamed (2)6. Attitude and Aptitude

It all comes down to attitude and aptitude, two traits that are paramount for a successful workforce. The attitude speaks for itself; no client or customer wants to deal with a disgruntled person, and neither do coworkers. As for aptitude, the ones constantly pushing themselves to learn new areas of your business are the ones who will help you scale quicker and smoother.

Ron Lieback, ContentMender




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