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The Qualities of a Great Hire

The Qualities of a Great Hire

Mallary Tytel / Business Week

June 24, 2008

We all know that an ideal prospective hire would be intelligent, competent, sensitive, curious, spirited, able, and confident. These attributes are at the top of our list. What should also be on the list are the basic and specific criteria for success that are non-negotiable and consistent with the specific organization’s mission, values, and culture.

• Job understanding. Are the responsibilities, expectations, and accountabilities clearly understood?

• Communication skills. Effective communication is influenced by values, perceptions, assumptions, and individual style, all of which are very personal.

• Planning, coordination, and execution. Look for balance between independence and interdependence, macro and micro perspectives, thinking and acting.

• Maintaining priorities and organization. This encompasses time and self-management, flexibility, versatility and follow-through, decision-making and delegating, assessing and managing both urgent and important responsibilities.

• Fit. Are personal and professional goals and values aligned? Is there consistency between what the organization needs and what the individual offers? What does the organization offer to the individual?

• Learning and growth. Does the individual recognize his or her strengths and areas of development in order to seek out opportunities for continuous learning, growth, and development?

• Commitment. Is there passion, dedication, and meaning for the individual in the work? Is this the right place for this particular individual?

In the end, every hiring decision is made with our own best judgment and fingers crossed. There are no guarantees, but if you can see beyond the obvious in your selection process, you can help increase the probability of making a hiring decision that you will not later regret.

Poll: How do you feel about crying at work?

Poll: How do you feel about crying at work?