When hiring for any size business, it's not what the candidates know today. Information can always be taught. The most intelligent companies hire for future success and heavily weigh personality when determining the most apt employees.
Regardless of industry, pay, age or sex, all ideal employees share some common traits. These include, but are not limited to individuals who can be described as or possess the following:
1. Action-oriented - Hire employees who take action and take chances. While chances may lead to failure, they will more often lead to success and mold confidence while generating new ideas. Stagnant employees won't make your company money; action-oriented employees will.
2. Intelligent - Intelligence is not the only thing, but it's a strong foundation for success. While there are many variables you can be flexible on when hiring, intelligence is a must or you're going to be spending an abundance of time proofing work, micromanaging and dealing with heightened stress levels.
3. Ambitious - Employees can only help your company if they want to help themselves have a better career. Ambition is what makes a company innovative, it's what spawns creative ideas and what generates candor and openness amongst employees.
4. Autonomous - You are hiring an employee who can get the job done without extensive hand-holding. As the owner of the company, you have your own tasks to take care of and, when you delegate activities to the individual whom you're hiring, you don't want 20 questions, rather you want execution.
5. Display Leadership - Do you see this individual being a significant part of your company and leading future employees of the firm? Leadership begins with self-confidence, is molded by positive reinforcement and repetitive success.
6. Cultural Fit - Are you going to enjoy working with this individual on a daily basis? Are your employees going to enjoy working with this individual? When recruiting, personality can mean the difference between an employee who doesn't stay long and fails to produce vs. an all-star who is going to significantly increase your competitive advantage.
7. Upbeat - Employees who come to work fresh and energetic every day are going to out produce workers who think negatively and easily burn-out when they encounter defeat. Upbeat and optimistic employees create a working environment that is unique, spawns new ideas and, just as important is enjoyable for the other people involved.
8. Confident - Confidence produces results and encourages employees to take on challenges that others shy away from. The best companies are highly confident in their abilities to provide a superior product or service and this belief spawns a culture of improvement and client confidence.
9. Successful - One of the most effective ways to predict future success in a candidate is their past success at other firms. Have they remained at companies for a prolonged period? Have they met company goals? What achievements have these individuals accomplished? If one looks closely, a lot can be deciphered from a resume.
10. Honest - An employee can have all the talent in the world, but without integrity and authenticity, nothing great will be accomplished. If nothing else, you want honest, forthright employees at your organization; otherwise your company will turn off clients and, ultimately won't survive.
11. Detail Oriented - Attention to detail is crucial or mistakes will be made within your company. Detail-oriented employees take pride in their work. They dot the "i's", cross the "t's" and get the job done.
12. Modest - The most sought-after employees shout their value not through their words, but rather through their work. They are humble; don't need to pump themselves up in front of others and quietly out produce those who do.
13. Hard working - Nothing great is accomplished easily. Nothing great is accomplished via hiring 9 - 5 employees. Rather, the foundation of an effective organization lies in its ability to recruit results oriented, hardworking employees who execute.
14. Marketable - By marketable, I mean presentable to clients. Business is not a fashion contest nor do looks dictate success, however, most successful applicants are well put together and, when dealing with clients are going to represent your organization as professional and organized.
15. Passionate - Employees who are passionate about their job never work a day in their life. While money should be a motivator in all individuals whom you hire, make sure that they enjoy the journey when pursuing that end-goal.
In the End
You can train on an employee on your product or service, but you can't train someone to have integrity, resiliency, self-confidence and work ethic. The smaller the business, the more crucial any hire is. Be flexible on background requirements, but continue to be stringent on personality traits.