When it comes to having a successful business, often times it isn’t about the products or services you have to offer, but rather the type of people you have working for you. That is why hiring a great employee, who not only has the skills to complete the job but also sees your vision and mission for being a great company, plays a huge role in a business’s success.
Many times though, we find ourselves looking back on some hires and wondering where something went wrong. The interview went great, they had all of the right skills you were looking for, and he/she even wowed other employees at the business. With your success riding on every employee you hire, how do you make sure that every decision is a great one? Below are the top 3 characteristics that I look for when it comes to hiring a great employee.
Eager to Learn. Sometimes having someone who already has all of the right skills and knows everything there is to know about the position can be a bad thing. Instead, I always look for someone who is a little more raw, yet eager to learn a lot. This is important to me because having an employee that is more flexible when it comes to doing things and/or willing to acquire new skills allows me the opportunity to mold them into the professional we are looking for. If they already feel they know everything about the job, then it can become a battle of who knows it best, leading to tension on the team. How do you know if someone is eager to learn? Ask them questions such as: What was the last article you read about (fill in the blank with whatever industry you’re hiring for)? What are some go-to resources you use when staying up to date about _____? or What do you plan to do to further yourself in this career?
- Willing to Work Independently. Working on a small marketing team, it is often go, go, go! And although the first few months of having a new employee require a lot of training and hands-on attention, it is important to me to have someone that can work independently on projects with little direction from me. Constantly having to check up on an employee and making sure he/she has enough work to keep his/her day filled can take you away from the things you need to accomplish. While in an interview ask him/her about some projects that he/she accomplished in their last role. Also ask about any leadership positions he/she may have had and what these positions required him/her to do. This will give you great insight into whether or not he/she will be able to work independently.
- Easy to Get Along With. Again, my direct team is very small, so finding someone that fits in well with with us is definitely key. It is also equally important that they are easy to get along with outside of my direct team as we are constantly working with other departments to better the business. There is no avoiding one another. Someone that doesn’t get along well with others will ultimately become a morale killer, so it’s really important to find out how they fit in with other employees and departments. Often times we have a round of interviews for our new hire prospects. This includes not only interviewing with myself, but also with the other teammates on the direct team and a couple of the managers of the other departments. This is beneficial to you as a hiring manager because not only can you see how they interact with other individuals, but you also may get different views as not everyone sees/hears the same thing or interacts the same way. This will ensure you have someone that can adapt to different personalities and get along well with anyone in your business.
Hiring is definitely something that can be a bit taunting and stressful. But knowing exactly what it is that you are looking for in a new employee will help guide you in the right direction and make your decision easier. Often times though, just listening to your gut about a new hire is all it takes. If something just doesn’t feel right, hold off. The right person will come along.
Now the list above is not a complete list of what to look for but rather my top 3. We would love to hear what things you look for when hiring. Share in the comments section below!