The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

March 30, 2017

The Character Sketch of Everyone You Hire Must Include These Three Traits

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Certain character traits are highly desirable in every job applicant. They need to be part of the profile of a hire at any level, with any company, and in any industry. Our recruiters meet hundreds of candidates each week, which has enabled their identification of the most important personal qualities of a job seeker.

High-performing employees embody enthusiasm, confidence, and curiosity. You’ll increase the likelihood of hiring someone exceptional by screening for qualities like these. Be sure to distinguish these attributes from their closely-related, negative counterparts.

Enthusiastic – Not Desperate

An enthusiastic candidate makes a compelling case for his or her interest in the job.

He or she communicates both evidence-based facts and personal values. On the factual side, the candidate shares information about relevant experience and technical capabilities. An enthusiastic candidate will also assert that his or her values align with the organizational culture or mission.

Meanwhile, a desperate candidate merely wants a new job and speaks in generalities when asked about his or her interest. This candidate might leave your company quickly for something better or more lucrative. He or she will likely fail to add long-term value to your organization.

Confident – Not Arrogant

A confident candidate knows that he or she is capable of excellence.

The confident candidate backs up his or her expertise with examples about new ideas, projects, or challenges from past positions. While this candidate doesn’t stumble over his or her words, he or she does pause before giving an answer. He or she maintains strong eye contact and smiles throughout the conversation.

However, an arrogant candidate won’t admit to weaknesses or wrongdoings. He or she might interrupt you as if he or she already knows everything about the opportunity or the company. This candidate is a poor interpersonal fit for any organization.

Curious – Not Nosy

A curious candidate treats the interview like a two-way conversation to collect pertinent information. 

He or she wants confirmation that the role fits his or her career trajectory. The candidate will ask about workflow, processes, and challenges. He or she will likely ask about company culture, employee expectations, and leadership styles, too.

On the other hand, a nosy candidate wants to know about irrelevant or insignificant items. Be especially wary of the candidate who asks outright about compensation or hours.

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