11 Qualities to Look for When Hiring an Employee

Things to Consider When Hiring an Employee

It’s always a delicate situation to know if an employee will be successful before hiring them. While managers can hire well, many often make mistakes, especially when in a hurry and relying on gut instinct or surface information which, for whatever reasons, may not provide full insight into an individual. There are many reasons you might want to take a chance on someone even though they seem risky at first glance.

What things to consider when hiring an employee?

There are certain qualities to look for when hiring an employee that usually tells you right away whether the person is a good fit. They include energy and desire, inventiveness, creativity, accountability, and innovation.  

All of those things make it easier to spot a quality potential hire among all the mediocre options that might come across your desk. 

The key is to look beyond just people skills when determining the suitability of someone because there are other things to consider when hiring an employee.

So, here are 11 qualities to look for when hiring an employee:

1. Ambitions 

An ambitious person is someone who is always looking for ways to do better. They see a challenge as an opportunity to shine and will do everything to prove themselves.

Someone with ambitions has the desire to do well and is self-driven. They figure things out for themselves and seek to improve continuously.

The person might still need your help in expanding their skills, but they will get take the initiative to learn things on the new job without waiting for you to teach them.

It does not take them long to connect with the rest of your team, so you should not worry about dealing with someone who is reserved.

Other qualities to look for when hiring an ambitious employee:

Find out what they think about the job and see if they can come up with their improvements. Ambitious people will always try to show you that they can do a better job.

Check if they have done anything outside work to expand their knowledge or improve personal development.

Read also: 7 Tips on How to Manage an Overconfident Employee

2. Adaptable to Cultural fit

A cultural fit means that you can picture this person working side-by-side with your other employees and helping them out when needed.

Hire a person who can easily fit in your way of doing things. Someone who can settle in without encountering culture shock. You need a person who can quickly learn the things your team does.

They need to show eagerness to know your way of doing things and are willing to adopt it within a short time after joining.

Good qualities to look for when hiring an employee who can fit in:

Observe how the person reacts when you ask them questions? Do they disagree with the way you do things? If the potential hire openly disagrees, that will tell you a lot about the person.

Also, looking into their knowledge of the company will tell you whether they are interested in a future there.

3. Desire to Learn

Someone with the desire to learn new things can adapt to the new environment much easier. They are often more productive, and their work quality is higher than that of those who aren’t as interested in learning new things.

Signs to look for when hiring an employee with a desire to learn:

Some signs can indicate that the person is a fast learner. Most people who want to learn new things tend to be inquisitive.

Such a person doesn’t hold back from showing interest in learning more about how the company works.

4. Articulate

A quality employee understands how to articulate their thoughts and ideas better than others. They are also very good at communicating with people of different backgrounds or levels.

The ability to listen is just as important as speaking — but not every employee has active listening skills.

If someone cannot pay attention to the speaker, it is a sign they do not know how to listen. Good listening is part of effective communication within any team or company.

Essential qualities to look for when hiring an articulate employee:

You need to test whether a person is articulate or not, ask them to explain something. If they can talk in long sentences and elaborate upon each point with relevant examples, you know that the person is articulate.

Another way to determine if someone is articulate is by paying attention to their conversation skills.

Read also: 10 Best Practices for Managing Unionized Employees

5. Reliable

A quality employee is dependable. The person has to be reliable in the sense they follow through with their responsibilities and commitments. You should be able to rely on their work ethic.

Once you hire someone, your team depends on this person’s work ethic. If they cannot uphold their responsibilities, it will affect the team productivity or the company.

Not only that, the person must be reliable in a manner that makes team members comfortable working with them.

Liability signs to look for when hiring a reliable employee:

First of all, you need to look at their work history and performance over time. You can also see by the way someone talks if they are reliable or not.

The way someone presents themselves in the interview can tell you how they will behave in the team. Reliability should be apparent before and after you have started working with someone.

Another thing to look for reliability in someone is punctuality. If someone cannot be on time for a scheduled job interview with you, how do you expect them to arrive on time at work or a meeting?

6. Intuitive

An intuitive employee is a visionary who can see the big picture. Such employee is usually forward-looking and has a sense of what is happening in their team or company. Intuition is a quality that a good employee should possess.

Intuitive employees are naturally good at adapting to abrupt changes and can learn new things quickly.

An intuitive employee will use their imagination, insight, and creativity when faced with opportunities or challenges.

They are inquisitive, and open-minded which makes them a valuable asset to any company.

Qualities to look for when hiring an intuitive employee:

Some qualities will tell you that your potential hire is intuitive. Occupational curiosity is one. Someone that shows a high level of occupational curiosity will keep up with the changes within the company and learn new tasks without being told to do so.

Try to get an open-minded Individual. An open-minded person will take in, process, and assimilate the company values and settle in quickly.

7. Organized

An organized employee can manage time and organize tasks efficiently, prioritize their work and focus on the most important things first. They can settle into a new job without facing many challenges.

Joining a new place involves taking on a lot from different people or departments. So, you must hire a person who can follow instructions, plans, and schedules efficiently and stick to them until the end.

Organisational signs to look for when hiring an employee who is organized:

It can be easy to find out if someone is organized or not. Prospective employees often list their strengths, but you may also directly ask the person to describe when they were overwhelmed with work.

If they can tell you how they handled the situation without missing deadlines, that is excellent.

8. Results-oriented

A results-oriented employee is a go-getter. A result-focussed employee will always look for the most effective way to get a task done. They are constantly working towards achieving goals while maintaining high-efficiency levels.

Employees are not equal. Some deliver the best results without the need for a manager’s guidance, and others don’t.

Such a person can be a great asset for any team as they don’t need much supervision and have the drive and passion to deliver results.

A results-oriented employee can energize the team if they are getting frustrated by anything.

Things to consider when hiring an employee who’s result-oriented:

Result-oriented employees have a clear sense of direction and purpose. They don’t waste time wondering what their ultimate goal is.

They know it clearly, which means they don’t procrastinate and can move forward with confidence.

The ability to set goals and achieve them on time is vital. It can be proven when you ask the person about their long-term goal. If they are vague about it, that means they lack a clear sense of direction.

Read more: How to Demonstrate Honesty and Integrity in the Workplace

9. Collaboration

Collaboration means working towards a common goal, and it requires good communication skills.

Employees who can communicate effectively across teams are seen as potential leaders because they have the charisma and confidence to earn respect from team members.

Someone should be willing to listen to other people’s opinions and be open to new approaches. The person needs to show that they can compromise on any issues in the team’s interest.

Also, they have to show their desire to reach out to others to resolve potential problems or create new ideas.

Things to look for when hiring an employee that can collaborate:

Someone who will be a team player should provide an example of how they brought everyone together while resolving potential issues. That will let you know how well they can collaborate with others.

The person should also give examples relevant to the job position rather than trying to impress you. You want an employee who has the desire for cooperation instead of competition. They must also have a sense of fairness.

10. Positive Attitude

Having a positive attitude is the ability to solve potential problems and take challenges in stride.

Someone with a positive attitude applies solutions to issues as soon as they arise instead of getting frustrated over potential obstacles.

You want someone with a good attitude who can take potential challenges in stride. Someone upbeat and optimistic can help your work environment stay positive, especially during challenging times.

Someone who has a positive attitude can help potential teammates and clients feel comfortable when facing issues or potential obstacles.

Essential characteristics to look for in hiring an employee with a positive attitude:

Some many traits and habits depict someone’s attitude. While each person should be judged individually, there are certain personality traits and characteristics beyond competence such as; enthusiasm, ability to learn, the potential for growth, and a sense of humor that can help you judge whether the potential hire has a positive attitude.

Discussing past problems or obstacles can give you an idea of how they react to issues. Someone enthusiastic about a prospective employer and teammates will appear genuinely interested in working with them or joining their team.

11. Digital Literacy

These days, most work is so dependent on technology that digital literacy is mandatory. Yes, you want to hire someone curious and willing to learn new skills, but the person must at least have some level of computer literacy to get started.

If your potential employee does not have the basic digital skills now, it will take time to learn them and probably cost you more.

As technology is becoming an increasingly important part of the workplace, you need to look for employees familiar with these new technologies. Working knowledge of basic computer skills such as email and word processing is a must in many positions.

What to look for in hiring an employee with digital knowledge?

There are some ways to tell if someone has digital knowledge. Perhaps they’ve had some formal training and can demonstrate or give you examples, which is always nice to see when looking for an employee with computer literacy.

Another way you can tell is by asking them about apps they know how to use; chances are they’ll be familiar with some of the basics, and that’s good enough for you.

Knowing what apps are popular will also give you a better idea that they have some digital knowledge.


If you’re hiring an employee, it’s important to verify that they meet your needs and standards before investing time and money into them.

Once you hire someone, you have a responsibility to provide feedback and coaching in any way necessary to help them improve their performance so they can be the best employees possible. And sometimes, this means firing them.

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