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11 Important Qualities to Look for in Your Next Hire

11 Important Qualities to Look for in Your Next Hire

11 Important Qualities to Look for in Your Next Hire

By Brittney Helmrich, Business News Daily

Between wading through applications and conducting interview after interview, searching for the perfect new hire can be quite the challenge. You need someone with the skills to fit the position you're trying to fill and a personality that fits in, too.

So how can you tell a candidate is right for the job and your company? It goes beyond simply assessing his or her education and experience — there are many other qualities you should be looking for, too.

Business News Daily asked career and business experts which underrated personality traits and skills are actually important in the job search. Keep these 11 often-overlooked qualities in mind during your next interview.


"Can an employee take direction, grow and pivot [and] make course corrections where necessary, and are they willing to be receptive to ongoing feedback without getting overly defensive or personalizing? How quickly can they adapt to change with integrity, initiative and positivity? Too often we hire individuals that are simply not coachable." - Michelle Berry, CEO and principal, Courtney Consulting

Cultural fit

"Although many interviews focus on the knowledge, skills and abilities required for the job, it's also important to think about job fit. How well will the person fit into the culture and how will this person work with the existing team? Candidates who mesh with the corporate culture and their co-workers have greater levels of success in the organization." – Amanda Haddaway, author, "Interviewer Success: Become a Great Interviewer in Less Than One Hour" (CreateSpace, 2013) 


"Many folks can do, but nothing is more common than talented folks who can do but don't. A very motivated person with average skills will always outperform the very skilled person with average motivation who expects great things will just come his [or] her way." – Dr. Paul Powers, psychologist and author, "Don't Wear Flip-Flops to Your Interview" (Career Press, 2015) 

Competitive drive

"This is sometimes thought to be not as important in nonsales jobs. That is not true. Everyone has some level of wanting to stand out for their assignment. Tap into it in the hiring process and you will probably get a more motivated employee that may positively influence those around them." – Mike Smith, founder, SalesCoaching1


"Having the ability and willingness to learn where someone else is coming from, their issues, problems, concerns and interests, not only allows an employee to be more able to defuse any issues that come up within an organization, but will give them the insight to improve something that could use improvement, leading to greater output not only from them, but the organization as a whole." –John Turner, CEO and founder, UsersThink

Appreciation for the position

"One thing that I’ve learned over time to look for in employment candidates is an appreciation for the position you are offering. It may seem a little counterintuitive, but I am a little hesitant when looking at someone who might be or feel overqualified for a position. They [often] have a tendency to act like the tasks that you need them to do are somewhat below their capability and [they bring a sense of] entitlement to more advanced or interesting tasks. A [higher] skill level can be great, but nothing is more dangerous than an underutilized and bored employee." – Matthew Sommer, chief strategy officer, Brolik


"When it comes to recruiting, a great attitude trumps almost every other factor. A great attitude translates into hard work, the desire to please customers and a willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done. They regularly outperform people who don’t share their positive outlook, even when the others have more raw talent and better educational backgrounds." – Michael Travis, recruiter and CEO, Travis & Company


"The most overlooked and underrated, but very important qualities to look for in job candidates are their roles in volunteerism. Most employers glance over that part of the resume without a second thought, but volunteerism says a great deal about the candidate's commitment to the community. Also, there are work experiences they encounter while volunteering that they would not have received any other way." – Linda Murray Bullard, business consultant and owner, LSMB Business Solutions

Listening skills and initiative

"Some of the most promising candidates are those who display their ability to balance listening with initiative in the interview. Pose questions to uncover whether or not the candidate spent time before the interview to learn about the company. Then, open the dialogue by allowing the interviewee to ask a few questions. If they can clearly discuss the company's mission and articulate how they can contribute to it, you have found a candidate who embodies the values of your organization and will fit right in." – Tim Elmore, author and president, Growing Leaders


"The most underrated quality to look for in job candidates, by far, is curiosity. You can’t train for curiosity, but you can hire for it. Bringing on talent that exhibits knowledge-seeking behavior is integral to having a team that remains on the cutting edge of technology. Curious employees will consistently push your projects and your organization ahead in new and innovative ways." – Jill Moriarity, employee experience manager, ÄKTA


"People that aren't comfortable with being flexible to change will not thrive in growing companies and may cause your company to miss valuable opportunities for advancement, new ideas and innovation. If a candidate seems set in their ways or [they] aren't open to quickly changing priorities, they're likely not a fit." – Shayleen Stuto, talent development manager, TechnologyAdvice