choose wisely when hiring new employees

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I’ve always been a sucker for those 90’s National Geographic animal shows. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I recently watched one on Siberian tigers. About midway through the show, there’s always a part that talks about the featured animal’s criteria for selecting a partner. Spoiler alert: it always has to do with survival. Be it the males or the females, the driving force in virtually every animal’s selection of a partner has to do with ensuring their own genetic survival.

As a company looking to forecast growth and future potential, we too must select our partners and employees carefully to ensure the financial survival of our company.

When you hire a new employee, the hope is not just to hire that person for the current needs of the company but also for the future needs of the company. An employee is someone you invest in. Most businesses would prefer to hire and then promote from within rather than to take a gamble on a new prospect. Leadership will always be a key trait companies seek in its employees. Here are a few things I look for when hiring new potentials.

Creativity

When people think of creativity, they usually think of art, music, design or some medium where the creativity is readily obvious…but, in reality, it’s much more than that. Creativity (at least to me) means being a problem-solver. Where there is an issue that needs to be addressed, a creative person is someone who can successfully attack the problem from an angle others don’t consider. They can think inside or outside the box and do whatever it takes to accomplish a task—even when there are obstacles in the way.

Communication

Business is, by nature, collaboration. Where there is a lack of communication, there is a lack of successful business. Being clear and upfront is something I need in an employee. This isn’t something that can be made up for in other attributes (at least in my industry). If an employee can’t make things clear and concise for clients, vendors or fellow workers, problems will flow one after another. Communication is a must to allow operations to run smoothly.

Hungry

I once heard someone say that the moment you feel like you have “arrived” is the moment you have plateaued. If there is one characteristic I want to find in an employee, it is hunger. Someone who is not just looking towards the future but is also actively working toward it. Someone who has their eye on the top of the mountain and is willing to pull up their sleeves and work to get there. A hungry employee is an employee you don’t want to let go of because they’re not someone you have to push. Hungry employees are self-motivated. You don’t have to worry about inspiring them. They already are. They wake up with a drive to conquer the world. What’s more is that these employees can also inspire you.

Attitude

Business is hard. It takes a lot of work. There are a lot of ups, and naturally, many downs. You want someone who can bounce back from things. Someone who can make work fun. That’s not to say someone who is constantly unproductive but rather someone who has balance. Someone who has a sense of humor. Someone who can have the worst day in the world and then laugh at the end of it. Attitude will determine our altitude. When problems arise, we can respond in one of three ways: we can be intimidated, we can be frustrated, or we can be motivated and keep climbing. Look for the employee who has a great attitude.

By tim brown
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