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The Key Qualities Every Employer Looks For

In most cases there is no such thing as the perfect candidate; we are all unique individuals and everyone comes with a different combination of skills, experience and qualities. As a result it is very rare to find that perfect fit. Having said that, there are common characteristics that […]

In most cases there is no such thing as the perfect candidate; we are all unique individuals and everyone comes with a different combination of skills, experience and qualities.

As a result it is very rare to find that perfect fit. Having said that, there are common characteristics that employers always look for when they are planning to take on new recruits. It doesn’t matter what sector or business you are talking about – if people are able to show that they possess these key attributes then they will always be in demand.

Here are four key qualities that I always look out for when I am planning to take on new people in one of my businesses:

Ambition

It is one of the most obvious questions to ask in an interview but there is a reason why people want to know where candidates see themselves in the future. The point of asking the question is to assess just how ambitious an individual really is. It stands to reason that an ambitious company wants like-minded people working for them. As a manager or chief executive you want people alongside you who are going to share your hunger, otherwise it is impossible to build the successful company you envision.

Initiative

Ask the question and most people will tell you that they are a self starter, but it is actually quite tough to find people who have the right personal drive and can work under their own steam. The simple fact is that every manager wants workers who have the initiative to organize their workload and go about their business without the need for constant supervision. These people are a key component of any successful organisation, not just for their professionalism, but also because they set a good example for those around them.

Commitment

This is true for most employers but particularly those in a service based industry. Providing quality customer service is what sets these firms apart from their rivals so it is vital that the staff are totally committed to the cause. They need to have a real dedication to what they are doing. As somebody who has spent many years in recruitment, I can usually tell which people are going to be the top performers purely through their attitude. Someone who is prepared to stick at it even when times are tough, and who will go that extra mile for themselves and the company is a huge asset.

Personality

It is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out in the modern world so someone who has a little bit of personality can make a big difference to the atmosphere in the workplace. Of course they need to be a team player, and nobody wants to work with someone who rubs people up the wrong way, but there is nothing wrong with mavericks and strong characters. These are the people who stand out in a crowded room and can often push your business on to new heights. A good team always has a combination of many different character types and the most important thing is to get that blend right.

Things like qualifications and capabilities are always high on the agenda when recruiting – after all, you want somebody suited to the technical requirements of the role. But the four qualities mentioned above are character traits, and for me these are every bit as important. There have actually been times when I have brought people into my business purely because they had these qualities. They weren’t necessarily the most qualified on paper, but they ticked the right boxes in terms of character.

Many candidates go into interviews and are keen to emphasise their skills. This is fine, but if you can also show potential employers you have most of the qualities listed above – preferably with examples – you will almost certainly become a more attractive candidate.