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Top 7 attributes to look for when recruiting new staff

7 essential attributes to look for when recruiting new team members

As you’re getting your head back into work mode this year, it’s time to contemplate on areas in your business you would like to develop further over the next 12 months.

What areas would like to assist your team to develop?

Are there attributes you need to find for your team in your next new hire?

While this article specifically refers to the 7 essential attributes for directors, we believe these attributes easily relate to people working at all levels and roles in a business.

Here is why:

1. Ethics and Values

Are your people able to identify right from wrong and speak up?

In today’s world we are consistently filtering and assessing language and behavior. We then use our personal ethics and values to decide what is acceptable.

Acceptable ethics and values define the culture. You want to know when things are not aligning with your values and ethos, right?

Recruit and encourage people to operate with an ethos and values that align with your team and business.

You also need people who have the courage to speak up and the practices in place to identify and address those who don’t.

2. High-level of emotional intelligence (EI)

EI is the ability to use and control one’s emotions.

Practically, it is about reading a room, picking up the vibes and then using these to inform the language you use and your approach to engaging and building relationships with others.

We all have emotional intelligence just like our human intelligence (IQ). Some of us are better at it than others. But the main thing is we can work to improve it, so long as we are committed to doing so.

Having a team of emotional intelligent people, is powerful and can achieve excellent results in creative and productive ways.

3. Low Ego

Well this is an interesting one!

In general Kiwi’s don’t like others with big egos or who overuse ego to demonstrate their value. Tall Poppy syndrome comes to mind. We are a most certainly a modest bunch here in NZ.

Ego can be useful in situations where you have to fake until you make it (flash back to my first few job interviews), but when overused your ego can be considered an unproductive contributor at the table.

Instead of being a respected contributor, you are seen as a barrier to collaboration and can lose the confidence of others. This attribute is strongly linked with our emotional intelligence too.

4. High level of technical skills

No-matter the work we do, we should look to develop a specialty.

It was an important point a mentor once shared with me. No matter the job there should be a process, activity or a task we strive to be the best at. This creates our point of difference from others. It becomes your specialty.

As our careers evolve the specialty may fall by the wayside because we have mastered it and we seek out or come across something new that is more complex and enticing to take its place.

We should always develop a specialist area that we are the go-to person and can provide insights that few can.

5. Broad generalist knowledge

Our career is an evolution of our technical expertise over time.

As we develop and grow our knowledge and expertise, we are likely to change and hone in on our specialties along the way. Meanwhile it is important our journey includes growing our broad business or industry knowledge (aka wisdom).

So when reviewing capability in your team or whilst recruiting, ask people how they go about growing their knowledge of your industry and how they find out more about your business and apply it to their job.

6. High degree of creativity

Irrespective of the role, you want people to be thinking outside of the box and to be considering ways to work efficiently whilst integrating new solutions and technology with the existing.

This all takes imagination, creativity and challenging the status quo.

Teams need to be agile and quick to respond to change at all levels without being handcuffed to the standard responses – ‘that’s not my job’, ‘that’s too hard’, ‘that will cost too much money’, ‘why change the old way was fine’, ‘don’t break something that isn’t already broken’, and the best one ‘computer says no’.

7. Strong governance skills

This will seem like the less relevant attribute on our list.

In some ways it is. But how I read this is; that it is important to have people in your team that can disconnect from the detail of their own work and engage in wider discussions that assist to push the team or business forward.

It is about understanding the ‘bigger picture’.

When you talk about team goals, changing processes or business goals, you should look to have people around you who contribute without getting bogged down in the detail of how it directly impacts them day to day. For example, having an operations person contribute to a marketing discussion can be powerful.

At Stapleton Consulting, when we start a recruitment process or sit down to write a job description, we have our clients define what it is the person must specialise in and what is the transferable general knowledge they need to know to be successful.

Then we talk about culture, team fit, stakeholder relationships and the challenges or opportunities that exist. All of this forms a profile of the whole person needed that that role in that business.

Do you need a clear picture of who your ideal person is to join your business? Chat with us to get started on this journey!

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