How to Spot Top Talent: 10 Traits to Look For When Hiring

By The HR Observer

In today’s economy, hiring the best people is more critical than ever. Best-in-class companies realize that making ongoing investments in grooming their workforce is important. Instinctively, most HR managers know that a high-performance organization requires great people. However, few are able to address the need for defining exactly what attributes must be sought when looking for the ideal candidate.

Here are 10 stand-out traits every HR manager must look out for among candidates: 

1. Confidence: Confidence is key and it is often achieved by a commitment to preparation.
Confidence produces results and encourages employees to take on challenges that others shy
away from. It is ranked highest because most managers are able to assess a candidate’s
confidence levels within the first 30 seconds of the interview.

2. Accountability: Most facets of leadership are learned, and thus the most efficient
organizations want to mould progressive thinkers rather than have stagnant employees. They
want each individual to have room to progress and, in time, be able to formulate their own
winning teams. Hence, an action-oriented candidate will focus on execution to achieve specific
goals.

3. Multi-tasking and Dealing with Complexity: Effective multi-tasking is achieved when work
is completed both efficiently and correctly, with a minimum of stress. Tomorrow’s workers must
be well-equipped to juggle multiple tasks.

4. Resilience and Change Management: These are the individuals who view their problems in
an optimistic manner and don’t view hurdles as insurmountable, pervasive or their fault. They
can fail and, after a brief demoralization, get right back on their feet and continue producing for
the company.

5. Innovation and Creativity: The most successful companies thrive because of innovation and
a consistent improvement on current internal processes. HR managers should look for those
who not only work autonomously, but who also can formulate fresh ways to complete old tasks.

Top 10 Mindset and Key Attributes
6. Decision-Making and Handling Ambiguity: Managers today are overworked and have little
time to oversee day-to-day activities. Recruiting employees who can get the job done without
being micromanaged is a significant priority these days. Competent job seekers can derive a
return on investment for their employer while requiring minimal hand holding from the leadership
team.

7. Ability to ‘See the Bigger Picture’: This is an essential leadership quality. Candidates who
demonstrate a desire to connect their efforts to the mission and purpose of the organization
display a key management skill that pays real dividends.

8. Sense of Conviction: A candidate with a sense of conviction has a firm belief that what
he/she thinks is correct. When asked tough questions during an interview, a candidate with a
strong sense of conviction is far less likely to abandon their morals or viewpoints to
accommodate the interests of the interviewer.

9. Agility and Openness to Feedback: The ideal candidate is open to constructive criticism
and is willing to cooperate to improve upon feedback. These individuals listen to understand
rather than respond immediately.

10. Passion: Without passion, employees will utilize only a fraction of their intelligence, achieve
only a percentage of what they’re able to and will inevitably burn out. Moreover, they will fail to
positively impact both their lives and the lives of their co-workers, clients, managers and the
firm’s leadership team.

In Conclusion
Adding top talent will bring a combination of new energy, ability, innovative ideas and the
passion that is vital for any organization to become competitive in the marketplace. It is difficult
to find buried treasure unless one has a map. It is challenging to win a scavenger hunt unless
one has a list. Similarly, it is impossible to hire the right people unless one knows exactly what
to look for.

For more tips and insights on Recruitment and Talent Acquisition, attend  free HR sessions at the upcoming HR Summit and Expo 2015, Nov, Dubai. 

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