The 8 Hallmarks of a Top-Tier Employee

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Everyone wants to hire the best – but what, exactly, makes someone “the best”?

That’s the question Jersey City-based digital marketing company iQuanti recently set out to answer. The company’s leadership team interviewed its top-performing employees to identify the traits they had in common, eventually landing on eight particular characteristics that top-tier employees tend to have.

Aseem Agrawal, a member of the leadership team who helped conduct the interviews, was kind enough to give us a rundown of each of the eight traits iQuanti identified. Check it out below, in his own words:

1. Top Employees Look at the Big Picture

Before taking up a task, they try to understand the purpose or the end goal. They seek answers to some basic questions, like “What is the thought process behind doing this?” and “What are we trying to achieve?”

2. They Establish Themselves as Go-To People in Their Companies

They perform their own research and spend more time reading about the business, customers, and the industry/domain than average performers do. They like to be known as subject matter experts, the “go-to” people in their domains.

3. They Believe Their Work Represents Them

MVP employees generally hold themselves to high standards, which shows in their work. They don’t just think about finishing a task – they want to do the best job possible. As a result, their deliverables have a trademark quality and are client-ready more often than not.

4. They Go Above and Beyond

They never shy away from going above and beyond, and they are happy to do more than they are asked to do if it will help them achieve their goal. They enjoy being entrusted with responsibility and the recognition/appreciation that follows after successfully delivering on a task.

5. They Keep Their Word

They follow through on their commitments. They just don’t know any other way! If they commit to doing something at a particular time, they just do it. In the rare cases when they aren’t able to deliver on their commitment, they let the concerned person know well in advance.

6. They Think in Terms of ‘Win-Win’

Like all employees, they want the company to reward them highly. In return, they also want the company and the clients to benefit from them. They try to add value in every way they can. They have a sense of ownership and connect with the company – a feeling of “apna company,” or “our company.” They enjoy being part of a growing company and facing the challenges associated with it.

7. They Teach Themselves and Others

Top performers focus strongly on learning and self-development. Not only do they continuously work on their own improvement, but they also teach, mentor, and help others around them. They get excited and happy about collective growth.

8. They Want to Make a Dent in the Universe

They actually care about solving industry and business problems, and they want to make a (positive) dent in the universe.

Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all template when it comes to hiring top talent. Certain roles, organizations, and industries will have their own additional criteria – skill sets, qualifications, personality traits – that need to be meet as well.

That being said, the eight traits outlined by Agrawal above are all signs that a candidate will make a great addition to your team. So next time you’re on the hunt for a new employee, assess your applicants for each of these characteristics – and try to hire someone who demonstrates them all.

By Matthew Kosinski