Top 9 Qualities to Look for When Hiring Employees

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hiring employees

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 market, many companies wonder how to hire employees to fill open positions. This is why many companies have started looking for candidates with soft rather than hard skills. 

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

1. Unleashing Confidence: The Backbone of Productivity

A confident employee will often also be productive. If employees aren’t confident in their abilities, they may not be able to manage tasks or 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. Mastering the Art of Communication: A Hiring Essential

Throughout the hiring process, note 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. 

Employees 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 via phone or 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. Teamwork: Harnessing Collective Strength

Even if your new employees work independently, 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 equals 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. 

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: The Silent Catalyst for Workplace Harmony

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 try to 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 business performance will improve. 

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

5. Culture Compatibility: The Secret Ingredient for Successful Onboarding

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 your option). 

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: The Powerhouse of Professionalism

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 must 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 also affect all their coworkers. 

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 tell you how much they know about your company and the culture. Determine 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: The Underrated Gem in Employee Hiring

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. You may even make a mistake if you rush to fill the position.

However, you must focus more on soft skills, like potential, than if a candidate meets all technical requirements.

If someone doesn’t meet all 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 with potential or adaptability, figure out if they advanced in their last job or had different positions within the company. Also, advanced degrees could show their interest in learning new things and taking on many different roles.

8. Loyalty in the Era of the Great Resignation: A Redefined Perspective

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.’s CEO, Evan Sohn, explained: “We are 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 with a shorter tenure than was previously acceptable, like one or two years. While things happen, if employees don’t stay at a company for more than a month, you may want to ask the reason. 

9. Honesty: The Cornerstone of Trustworthy Employees

Lastly, honesty is an important quality you want your staff to have. Some applicants might feel they must 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.

In Conclusion

The hiring process is a delicate and significant undertaking for any organization. A company’s future can depend on the qualities and skills of the people they hire. In today’s dynamic and competitive job market, prioritizing soft skills in potential candidates can make a significant difference.

Remember, employees are not just workers; they are ambassadors for your company culture, drivers of innovation, and the human face of your business. Hiring the right people doesn’t just fill seats—it energizes your entire organization and propels your business forward.

A candidate with the right balance of confidence, communication skills, team spirit, emotional intelligence, cultural fit, positivity, potential, loyalty, and honesty can prove invaluable to your team.

While the process may seem daunting, especially after the Great Resignation, it is an opportunity to refine your hiring process and choose candidates who will bring skills and resilience to your team.

You can navigate the hiring landscape more effectively and efficiently with professional assistance. Our services are designed to take the stress out of the process and ensure you get the best talent for your team. Let us help you build your dream team.

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 hiring all these employees on your own can be challenging, 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 advanced recruiting solutions to deliver qualified candidates right to your email.

Contact us today to learn more!

By Alyssa Harmon