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10 Essential Attributes of Great Hires

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Summary: New hires are the future of your company. Invest the time and search for these 10 essential attributes.

When it comes to building your company for growth and success, one of the most important factors is the quality of your employees. Whether your company is big or small, new or established, your employees will be the driving force that gets the job done. They will be the enactors of your company culture. To your customers, they will be the face of your company. As your company grows and creates new positions or as you replace vacated positions, your new hires will be the next wave of fresh ideas and results that will shape your company’s future.

High quality hiring may be one of the most important decisions your company has to make on a regular basis. Never let your hiring decisions settle for sufficient when your success depends on excellence. Look for dedication, not an employee who just wants to do the bare minimum to get by. Remember, it’s your future you are working with here.

I have already discussed how to make your company more attractive to quality job candidates in my article, Want to Attract Top Talent to Your Company? Have a Purpose, but what exactly is top talent? What should you look for in an excellent hire?

Here are ten essential

1. Dedication

Look for dedication in all of its forms. Is the hire dedicated to completing long and challenging tasks? Were they dedicated to their previous company, as shown by the length of their work history? Will the hire gladly put in the extra time and effort when your company needs it? A dedicated employee will drive your success. They will be unsatisfied with incomplete or less than perfect work. They will stick around and bring long term value to their position.

2. Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is the opposite of negativity, and negativity can spread and infect your department and even your company, bringing everyone down. Likewise, enthusiasm is contagious. Enthusiastic hires will help make the job more fun for those around them and will help to improve morale and productivity.

3. Big Ideas

It is ever important that your company continues to innovate or be left behind. You can quickly infuse your company with a shot of innovative ideas by choosing hires with big ideas and dreams. You can discover this trait by asking about personal goals and plans or changes they suggested at a previous job. Find hires with big goals and innovative ideas, and then nurture this trait.

4. Intelligence

This trait is so obvious that it almost goes without saying. Simply put, your hires have to have the requisite level of intelligence to get the job done without constantly relying on outside input, correction, or rework. This intelligence can come in the form of education or prior experience, but might just as well manifest itself as the ability to learn and adapt quickly, to make independent decisions, and to self-correct errors.

5. A Good Fit for Your Team

This essential quality of excellent hires comes in a couple of forms. First, does the hire have a proven history of working well with others or in a team setting? Second, will the hire’s attitudes and habits be a good fit for your company culture?

The first element is increasingly important in today’s collaborative, technology driven work environment. Look for the kind of person who can work with others, whatever the situation, to promote success. Look for leadership qualities, with the right attitude to be a strong, positive contributor, but to also take criticism well.

The second element considers how the hire will fit in with your company culture and the immediate team they will work with. You will want to avoid obvious personality conflicts that will bring negativity into your workplace. Similarly, it is important that your hire will fit well with your company culture, including the work environment, driving attitudes, and core values. As the saying goes, don’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole.

6. Curiosity

Curiosity is an indispensable trait in your company’s hires. Walt Disney is quoted as saying, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Look for hires who ask the kinds of questions that will lead to finding new and improved ways to do things, who won’t necessarily just go through the motions because “that’s just the way it is done.” Curiosity will lead your people to seek out new information and knowledge, to grow within your organization, and find greater successes for themselves and for your business.

7. Honesty & Integrity

Find someone with integrity, who will earn the trust of coworkers and customers alike. You will want someone who will speak up when they become aware of when something is not right. You need to be able to trust your hires to make the right choice even in tough situations. Make sure that your hires understand what it is to act ethically and that it is a choice they will always make. Also be sure your hiring candidates contribute to a company culture of always doing the right thing. The results will be an excellent company reputation with customers who trust and are loyal to your business.

8. Flexibility

Business is an ever evolving beast, and such change is necessary to remain competitive. Customer expectations, company goals, and even basic job duties may change from day-to-day or year-to-year. Your hires should reflect a high level of flexibility to accommodate any changes that are needed. Look for examples of adaptability in previous work. Find hires that thrive under pressure in situations that deviate from the prescribed pattern. These will be the employees who drive future success, rather than folding under adversity.

9. Has a Record of Success

A strong predictor of your hire’s success with your company is prior success. This vital trait is easy enough to pick out from a good resume and by calling prior employers and references. A record of meeting and exceeding business goals, earning awards and recognitions, and consistent performance should indicate that you can expect more of the same.

10. Detail Oriented

Look for hires who take that extra minute to check their work and make sure that quality is always a priority. Mistakes cost time, money, and can have even more serious consequences for your company if repeated. Do not undervalue a hire with an eye for detail and a preference for perfection.


Many of these traits tend to go hand-in-hand. A detail-oriented hire will often show dedication. A curious hire usually is a knowledgeable one. Still, it can be difficult to find more of these qualities in the same person. Your best recipe for success is to find that well-rounded hire that displays these ten traits and a desire to join your team. These are the people who you can rely on for excellence and will help to mold future of your company.

10 Essential Attributes of Great Hires by
Authored by: Cameron Griffin