What is a Great Employee Made Of?
There are a lot of reasons to hire a new employee. Maybe your business is growing and you need help with the increasing workload. Maybe you had someone leave your team and you are backfilling the vacant position. Or maybe you’ve recently had to let someone go.
No matter what your reason, the hiring process can be exciting and frustrating at the same time. Make it easier and smoother by looking for these specific characteristics of ideal employees.
Are They Assured or Arrogant?
One of the biggest things that I look for is how someone engages with me during a face-to-face interview. When your first meeting is face-to-face rather than on the phone, you can better connect (or not) with the candidate and be able to easily gauge their personality, body language and true responses to your questions.
The biggest thing that I’ve been able to gauge from face-to-face interviews is whether the candidate is confident in their abilities and skills, or whether they are just flat out arrogant. In my experience, arrogance creates a major roadblock with other members of your team, and the company as a whole. You want a candidate that delivers confidence in their abilities and skills, but understands when to lead and when to follow.
Have They Done Their Homework?
Another important thing that I look for when interviewing a candidate is their ability to answer questions that are outside the scope of the individual position for hire. You’ll be able to quickly gauge whether the candidate has taken the time to learn about your products and/or services, your company and your competition, or whether they are simply looking to collect a paycheck.
A candidate who is truly prepared and interested in your opportunity will not only know what the specific position entails, but will demonstrate the desire and ability to learn as much as possible to achieve the end goal—becoming a valuable addition to your team.
Can They “Run Fast and Be Taught How to Hit”?
This is one of my favorite and most telling characteristics of a candidate for hire. While it takes a bit of understanding, time and work to truly achieve, once you are able to uncover this ability, your hiring days will be much easier, and quicker.
There is an old saying in baseball of “you can’t teach speed, but you can teach someone how to better hit”. Translated for hiring, you should look for candidates that are eager, proactive, and always wanting to learn. They should have a track record of success with the skills they’ll need, even if it comes from another industry.
Then it’s up to you to “teach them how to hit” through training, mentoring and support from fellow employees. Help your new hire thrive and grow as they learn more about your specific business and they will quickly add to the productivity and overall efficiencies of the team and company.
Will They Embrace Your Company’s Values?
Many companies have established core values that outline what they stand for, and what their employees should always be marching towards. At the end of the day, all employees are an extension of the company and/or your team, so make sure your potential new hires are not only technically qualified but are a great fit for the company culture as well. Make sure that the interview processes gives you the chance to determine if a candidate can (or can’t) embrace and embody the heart and soul of your company.
The one thing I’ve learned over the years about hiring new employees is that it is a science and an art at the same time. Your ability to find the balance between the two is your success factor. Learn how to quickly pinpoint these characteristics of a great new hire and you’ll be well on your way to a smoother and trouble-free hiring process.