What to Look For In the Perfect Employee

by in Talent Attraction, Uncategorized

Are you thinking about recruiting for a new post and are unsure about what traits you need to look for in a person? Then take a look at the most desirable qualities when hiring.

If you are after someone who can fill a managerial role, then bear in mind all the qualities they will need. For example, they will need to be a team player but also able to lead and take control of situations. They need to be approachable whilst also authoritative. But, most importantly, they must be able to take on board other people’s ideas. Ideas in an organisation tend to work from the bottom up and come from the people who deal with the role on a daily basis as they will have the most knowledge of the potential impact of the idea. If you don’t have a manager who is approachable enough to tell these ideas to, then they might never get heard! Here are some more general characteristics to look out for:


Of course this trait is an obvious one, so it’s important not to be fooled by a façade.  You are seeking someone who displays a strong desire for success, who is intellectually stimulated, and who enjoys challenging themselves on a daily basis – you need someone who strives to make themselves better.


Employees can only help your company if they want to help themselves have a better career – you need to be looking for a person who is motivated with a real sense of get up and go!  Ambition is what makes a company become innovative; it’s what inspires the beginnings of creative ideas and what generates openness amongst employees.


Now there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance and you need to be looking for someone that sits in the right position on that line. Confidence produces results and encourages employees to take on challenges that others shy away from, so yes it is important to have an air of confidence, but too much and this can make you seem unapproachable, and not liked by other employees. This in the long term could cause disruption and a serious breakdown in communication among your team.


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.


An employee can have all the talent in the world, but without integrity and authenticity, you can only hope for the best.  At a minimum, you need honest, straightforward employees at your organisation; otherwise your company will deter future clients and make relationships hard with existing ones.


Attention to detail is crucial or mistakes will be made within your company.  Detail-oriented employees take pride in their work, and you need someone who is willing to go that extra mile to get the work done to its best standard. When they come for an interview these people tend to be dressed very neatly, with smart presentation, hair tied back, nails nice and with a folder/briefcase with all their documents to hand in and organised fashion – they have clearly taken time to prepare themselves and any documents for presentation.

In The End…

Remember, you can train an employee on your product or service, but you can’t train someone to have integrity, resiliency, self-confidence or work ethic.  The smaller the business, the more crucial any position is.  Be flexible on background requirements, but continue to be stringent on personality qualities that you desire – after all it’s your company and you know who will fit in best for the role you are looking at.

Always promote yourself as a good employer, even if your firm is small and unlikely to be able to compete with the salaries or promotion prospects that bigger companies can offer, then be imaginative to attract the best candidates. Start by asking yourself: why would I want to work for me? Some people prefer to work for small firms, because they don’t like to feel they’re a small cog in a big machine, and they like their ideas and view points to be heard. As a small business owner, it’s just as important for you to sell the idea of working for your firm to a good candidate as it is for that person to make a favourable impression on you.

Using a recruitment agency will really help you spend less time on recruitment; you can use the agency as a filter process, they will only forward to you resumes which are suited to you, after having spoken to the candidates and determined whether they should have the characteristics and work history which is suitable for you.

Bio: Tara Lescott remembers well the difficulties of starting out in the recruitment industry and likes to pass on the benefit of her experience in her writing. Tara now spends much of her time managing Recruiter Republic a Rec to Rec Agency based in Cambridge and London.