Turnover and hiring new employees can be both time-consuming and costly for businesses. Not only must businesses work to retain as many hard-working personnel as possible, they also must make good hiring decisions to avoid a loss when it comes to the training of new hires. There are certain qualities companies look for when hiring new employees, which often can be discovered in the first interview.
Here are ten standout traits to look for in screening new hires:
1. Long Term Potential
Turnover can be expensive given the investment in training new employees, and businesses do not want to hire someone who does not have potential as a long-term hire. Recruiters should look for traits of commitment and longevity in an interviewee’s resume. For instance, a candidate with a graduate degree (such as an online MBA) or multiple certifications would indicate a passion for pursuing learning, professional growth, and long-term advancement opportunities.
2. Ability to Produce Results
When interviewing candidates, prompt them to speak in detail about their past. Supporting a growth strategy in your organization is much smoother when new hires come in with proven track records of producing solid results. Allow new hires to boast about previous successes and ask for details into how they reached various career goals. Hiring managers should look for enthusiastic candidates eager to push the envelope and who possess a personal drive toward future achievements.
3. Enthusiasm and Passion
Look for candidates who are enthusiastic and passionate about what they do. Their successes should shine through during the interview. People who love the work they do often stay at companies longer than people who work for the sake of the paycheck. Enthusiasm is a great trait to possess for a new employee; enthusiastic and outgoing employees are often useful to a business because they are likely proficient when it comes to operations management, enterprise resource planning, and healthcare management.
4. Putting Skills to Action
Some hiring managers may request potential new hires to complete a task or work on a project to better illustrate their skill set. An employer wants to find a candidate who is self-motivated, excited to be an active participant in company efforts, and willing to put in the extra effort to achieve success in the business. Candidates who keep their composure while simultaneously showcasing their problem-solving skills are often better prepared to work well under pressure and the responsibility that might come along with the job.
5. Fitting the Work Environment
When interviewing a candidate, it is important to measure their “fit” in two distinct ways. First, consider their fit for the position itself based on their knowledge, skill capacity, and overall ability to successfully perform the required functions. Second, measure their fit for the organization as a whole by envisioning how they would personally “fit” into the company culture. Employees who feel successful at their position and have a sense of belonging at the company will often stay longer.
6. Team Player
In many situations, employees will have to function with fellow coworkers on a project. Even if a job requires most tasks to be completed alone, there will be times when employees will have to work together. Recruiters and hiring managers usually ask potential hires about how well they work as a team and what type of work environment they prefer. Some employers may even bring applicants in for a group interview to see how well they interact with a number of people already on staff.
Businesses want to hire motivated and driven people who will go above and beyond what is asked of them. Ambitious employees work hard to do the best they can in their position and often think of ways to improve their work and be more efficient, making it a great quality for an online HR graduate to have. An employee who possesses these traits is sure to have a greater chance of being considered for more challenging positions once the opportunity arises.
8. Giving Credit to Others
Hiring managers will also look for honesty and integrity during the interview. When receiving a compliment, it is commendable for candidates to share the credit with fellow employees that helped them succeed. Appreciating other employees will strengthen both the group and individual morale, which builds and reinforces a trusting environment. Hiring managers should look for self-assured, confident employees who take credit for their work while also recognizing the efforts of the whole team involved.
Being intently responsive shows respect and courtesy towards the hiring managers; a candidate who thoughtfully responds when being addressed, politely greets others and says “thank you” and “you’re welcome” will set the applicant apart from others who lack proper social interaction skills. It is also a key indicator of how they will interact with peers and customers once in the position. Treating people respectfully will yield better business results in every aspect of a company, especially when dealing directly with clients.
How to Prioritize Retention in Your Company
After a hiring manager selects a candidate based on the appropriate traits outlined above, the next step is finding a way to ensure that talent stays on board. Human resource managers know that hiring the wrong person for a job can be a frustrating and disappointing experience, both for the company and the new hire. With so much at stake, it’s essential that human resource personnel have advanced knowledge of the strategies and skills that make hiring and keeping winners a standard in their business, not a lucky occurrence.
Keeping the Best
Once winning talent has been brought on board, the challenge becomes keeping them invested, engaged, and committed to the company. If truly extraordinary talent has been hired, the chance of competitors trying to woo them is high. From the very beginning of their employment, human resources can play a pivotal role in keeping the best candidates from leaving.
- Help the Candidates Find Their Professional Passion: To keep the best and the brightest, a company needs to provide more than just money; it needs to provide purpose. Talented people want to feel engaged in something meaningful, and if they don’t feel a connection or passion for their work, their commitment to the company can wane. One strategy human resources can utilize to retain the professional winners is to reach out on a regular basis to check in with top talent on what they like or don’t like about their work, what they feel passionate about, and what they want to do more of. With that information, human resources can facilitate a discussion with supervisors and incorporate more of their passion projects into the role. Sending the message that employees can choose all aspects of their role is unrealistic, but showing concern for employees to be fulfilled by their work is realistic and effective for retention.
- Provide Regular Feedback: Many companies make the mistake of thinking their winning talent doesn’t need or want regular feedback. Instead, they provide yearly performance evaluations that are directly linked to compensation. But top talent is interested in growing as well as learning, and can lose interest quickly if their managers aren’t providing constructive and positive feedback. A strategy that savvy human resource personnel can use is to encourage managers to provide more regular feedback to their teams unrelated to compensation so there is a culture of development and investment in the winning talent.
While these strategies are effective, the best strategy any human resource professional can utilize to hire winners and keep them is to educate them and stay up to date on new processes and trends.
The University of Scranton offers a fully online graduate degree program for human resources management that can provide the strategic training necessary to navigate hiring and keeping the best talent. The curriculum is updated regularly to include the very latest strategies for effective decision making, organizational performance, negotiating, and rewarding top talent.