By Jim Wong, CPA | July 26, 2017

“I hire people brighter than me and then I get out of their way” – Lee Iacocca, ford

Most good managers know that the success of their team is dependent on the strength of the individuals they hire. Hiring someone who doesn’t have the skills, the knowhow to do the job or isn’t a good fit for the company’s culture can be detrimental to the business—and costly. So, it’s important to hire the right person and alleviate any problems from the start.

As the workplace continues to evolve with the times, hiring managers are learning that they have to vet out candidates for more than just technical skills. There are a variety of soft skills that are just as important for the success of the team and business.

That’s why when you’re interviewing an individual for an open role on your team, be sure to know what to look for when determining if the person is the right fit for the position. Education and experience are always great, and definite go-to’s, but when you’re looking for a true long-term hire—you need to make sure the professional is an all-around match.

I recently came across an article on that discusses this topic rather well. I took some of their ideas and added a few of my own in the 5 Traits to Look for When Hiring New Team Members below.

1. Not a Yes-Man.
When you find someone who can respectfully speak their mind, and challenge the status quo, you’ve found a good hire. You shouldn’t only look for yes-men and yes-woman. You want someone with a different mindset than yours who can push the team, and the business, forward. Some hiring managers are afraid to hire people who might do things a different way than them, but that’s exactly what managers should be looking for on their teams.

2. Willingness to learn.
While intelligence and book smarts are attractive qualities for any candidate, what should be even more appealing is a professional who shows the eagerness to learn new things. These individuals will most certainly look for new challenges in their roles and are likely to adapt and grow with the changes of a company. Further, these professionals may even come up with new ideas for how to improve the business.

3. Have a balanced life.
Those who show a strong work-life balance outside the office are often the best employees inside the office. You might think you want a team who will work long hours and be there from dusk until dawn, but that’s not necessarily the best thing for a business. Individuals with hobbies, friends and family outside of the office are likely to bring their worldly knowledge to the company which can be beneficial in the long run and bring great diversity to the company’s culture.

4. Show all-star qualities.
You want to hire someone who will go above and beyond what is asked of them—and is not afraid to take risks. You want someone who will raise the bar of both effectiveness and productivity, and someone who will contribute more than just the list of duties assigned to them in their job description. These type of all-star qualities will push a team forward and add to the success of a business.

5. Display integrity.
This one should go without saying, but it’s so important that it’s a must on the list. You want individuals you can trust, who are honest and who have integrity. Without those core traits, none of their technical skillsets matter. When you can sense a person’s integrity right from the first interview, you know you have a good hire on your hands.

What are some other traits hiring managers should look for when hiring for their team? Comment below and let us know!

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