5 Predictors of a Great Hire – The Hire


5 Predictors of a Great Hire

The other week we talked about 3 common, yet fallible, precepts that hiring managers use when in search of the perfect hire.

Now let’s talk about 5 predictors of a great hire that you can actually hang your hat on.

It should be noted that many people can quickly master and ascend that learning curve.  And that job skills can be taught and learned relatively easily by a quick study.  But, in the end, the team members that bring the most sustainable value bring more than the ability to perform the job.

Such as …

Great Hire Predictor #1 – Conscientiousness

Conscientious employees are a true pleasure to work with.  Everyone loves interacting with them and may audibly sigh relief when they need something and that something is needed from the ‘Conscientious’ colleague.  That is because they know that their request will not be met with radio silence.  They will not only get the information needed, it will be provided in plenty of time and with supporting details.  If there is going to be a delay, they know that will be communicated as well.

These employees have a sense of urgency.  They are committed to doing their best, committed to the team, and committed to the company’s overall mission and goals.  They always follow-up and follow-through.

Conscientious employees make a great hire.

Great Hire Predictor #2 – Work Ethic

Candidates with a strong work ethic innately have a high level of integrity.  They tend to be exceptionally productive.  They value and are valued by their past employers.  You are unlikely to see a pattern of job-hopping on their resumes.  Instead, you are likely to notice that they tend to stay and grow with companies for extended periods of time.  You may even see that when they do move on, they do so to follow colleagues in executive management.  Or that they come full circle and return to work for previous employers.

Those who possess a strong work ethic tend to be highly self-motivated and do not require much in the way of hands-on management.  They will make your job easier and are certain to make you and your department look good.

Candidates with a strong work ethic make a great hire.

Great Hire Predictor #3 – Culture Fit

We spend over 50% of our waking hours at work.  So understandably it is to everyone’s advantage to onboard team members that fit well into your company’s culture.

How are their social skills?  Do their values align well with your mission?  Do they project a positive attitude and overall vibe that would mesh well with your office environment?

While the answers to these questions are particularly important in customer-facing positions, they are arguably just as important in positions where interaction is limited to the internal team.  It can be rather frustrating (to say the least) interacting with a non-collaborative or condescending colleague day-in and day-out.  This dynamic will wear down even your most diplomatic and even-keeled team members … eventually bringing out the worst in them and eroding the overall collaboration and effectiveness of your team.

As you can see, candidates that fit well into the culture of your company make a great hire.

Great Hire Predictor # 4 – Passion

Remember, hard skills for the job can be learned.  But passion is innate.  Notice what the candidate zeroes in on when talking about their qualifications. What do they really care about?

While most people technically “work to live” vs. “live to work”, it isn’t really that cut and dry.  Naturally, we all share the goal of providing for ourselves and families – making sure our needs are met and our well-being is tended to – hopefully while doing this we can find that sweet spot where everything is in balance – work, home, community – all in balance.

And the best way to achieve that balance is rather nuanced … but indeed 100% involves passion.

Passion is difficult to specify … but you know it when you see it.  A passionate candidate is a thoughtful one.  Their experience may (or may not) be more qualitative than quantitative … their career trajectory may not (or may) be linear.  They are likely to have self-taught themselves in at least one (maybe more) position … tackling challenges with vigor and determination.

Without fail, though, they truly care.  They care about meeting goals.  They care about nurturing positive relationships.  They care about making a positive impact.   They recognize and care about the bigger picture.

A passionate employee is your stalwart.  A passionate employee also is most likely a conscientious employee, with a great work ethic, and who fits well into your company’s culture.

A passionate employee is a great hire.

Great Hire Predictor #5 – Skills

Okay … this may sound inverse to everything we’ve talked about so far.  But, the last great predictor of a great hire is much more easily discernable than the rest.  Skills.  There is no denying that having the right skills are a critical requirement.

Even if you find yourself face-to-face with that candidate who seems to have it all – who is a conscientious and passionate individual with an amazing work ethic and who totally fits in with your team – their job-related skills still need to align well with your core requirements.

Do their knowledge and experience correlate with the qualifications needed to succeed in the position?  Will they be able to hit the ground running?  Do they possess the ability to learn, adapt, and grow?

If so, then you have found a truly great hire.

You may be wondering how to best identify candidates who possess the above qualities of a great hire.  One of the best ways to do so is through situational and/or behavioral interview questionsCheck out our recent blog on the topic to learn more.

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