With the increasing pool of graduates, organisations are more discerning in their hiring policies. Recruiters are interested in more than just the Bachelor degree; they are looking for additional skills and qualities that differentiate a candidate from the rest. So often we hear about communication, leadership and interpersonal skills being valuable and sought after by organisations. However, some would argue that these are skills that anyone can pick up if they have access to the right training and coaching. So what really matters? Organisations should look beyond skills and turn their eye more to the personal qualities and traits that make a candidate valuable.
In this post, we share 5 underrated qualities that organisations should look for when trying to find the right person for that position.
Hiring self-motivated employees is half the battle won. Self-motivated employees continuously seek to improve themselves. They are hungry for knowledge and will not stop learning. This means that they tend to be more receptive to feedback, are more eager to attend training than other employees and are likely to be top-performers. This saves managers time and effort – instead of devising new ways to motivate or engage employees, managers can simply channel their efforts into catering to the learning needs of self-motivated employees.
Should you pick a candidate who is highly skilled but lacks motivation or a candidate with average skills but is highly motivated? The answer lies in this: “You can teach skills, but not motivation”. Though the latter may not be as skillful, the intrinsic drive to learn and to improve can often be more than enough to make up for it.
Recruiters are often on the look-out for confident, intelligent and outspoken individuals and in doing so, humility can often be overlooked. These traits are NOT mutually exclusive! It is easy for an accomplished and capable high-achiever to forget the importance of being modest. So, a candidate with a strong resume who still remains down-to-earth is rare and can be well worth hiring. An arrogant albeit confident individual can neither make a good leader nor a team player, as he/she will be too self-involved to value other people’s ideas and opinions. Humility also means that the individual is more collaborative, more likely to accept criticism and feedback and be willing to learn from others, including their subordinates.
#3 Experience with failure(s)
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” (Winston Churchill)
Keep a look out for candidates who are not afraid to highlight their failures in their resume, or talk about it during the interview. In fact, as a recruiter, you should prompt your candidates to share an instance where they have failed. By doing so, you can identify those who can learn from failures, who take risks and who are not afraid to admit their mistakes. These are qualities of successful people – Steve Jobs had once been fired from Apple, Henry Ford had a couple of failed automobile business before Ford Motors and Walt Disney was fired as a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas”. Individuals who are able to acknowledge their failures, are more likely to be successful in the future, and could be a great addition to your organisation.
Those who cannot recognise their failures are likely to lack self-awareness, an ability to grow from past mistakes and be unlikely to take risks.
This quality is especially critical in recent years as we now live in a fluid and ever-changing globalised world. An employee who is highly adaptable is open to new ideas, willing to take on new challenges and is unafraid of changes. They are agile and can thrive in any environment you put them in. If an organisation wants to stay relevant and ahead of time, then it needs employees who exhibit such a quality as resistance to change can negatively affect the growth of the company.
#5 Curious and Inquisitive
Would you prefer an overzealous and curious employee or a disengaged one who takes things as they are? An individual who is often curious is willing to dig deeper, ask more “whys”, challenge the norm and thus is more likely to help your organisation identify new opportunities and make improvements. They tend to be better at problem solving and are usually more innovative than most. Having employees who are neither curious nor inquisitive is putting your organisation at risk of stagnation.
Individuals who possess these qualities tend to be easier to groom and nurture as they grow with your organisation. Hiring individuals with this skills to begin with means that they come to you already equipped with the bare essentials – they are eager to learn, receptive and willing to improve themselves.
Hire the right people for your organisation today! We hope you found this post insightful. Do comment and share your thoughts on this topic with us too!