5 Traits for Top Talent

Julie Shenkman
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Even a business with the best and most innovative products and services in its field can't reach the heights of success without hiring great employees. When hiring, what should you look for in a potential candidate? These five employee traits lead to great hires, regardless of the field.

A People Person

An organization is only as good as the people who run it. You want an employee who fits well into your company's culture and works effectively with many different personalities and people from different backgrounds. A great employee is a team player who does his part without taking undue credit.


Hiring intelligent employees may seem like a no-brainer, but it can be difficult to tell which candidates can put their intelligence to use as new hires. A great employee can pick up concepts quickly and learn as he goes. To determine whether a candidate has this quality, ask insightful questions about times he had to learn a new concept or system quickly, or inquire as to the steps he usually takes to master a new skill.


Confidence is a major component of any great employee. A new hire who is easily intimidated may find it hard to perform to the best of his ability at first, and that costs the company time and money due to decreased productivity and increased micromanaging. A confident employee, however, is not afraid to ask questions and hit the ground running until he finds the right stride. Look for confident candidates that are still self-aware enough to speak up and ask questions when needed.


You need an employee who performs tasks with a sense of urgency. Discussing concepts and plans is important, but it's just as important to actually try things out and do the work. A driven individual may still hit roadblocks, but he's resourceful enough to solve problems on the fly and create new opportunities where there were none. This kind of quality benefits your business many times over, because a great employee always strives for action. This kind of efficiency is contagious, and other employees may soon follow his lead with increased productivity.


In today's technology-driven society, there's always something new to learn. Great employees easily adapt to different tasks and situations. Instead of holding up the team, they learn as they go and continuously deliver good results. The goal is progress, not perfection.

When choosing candidates for a position, look beyond fancy degrees or lots of experience listed on a resume. During the interview process, ask questions and bring up topics that give some insight into the presence of these five core traits of a great employee. The extra time and effort spent recruiting someone who possesses these traits is well worth it, as your company will enjoy greater productivity and morale.

Photo courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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