Who to Look?
- Ability to Prioritize
- Works well in teams
- Organizational Awareness
- Effective Problem Solving
- Ability to Influence
- Effective Decision Making
- Learning Agility
- Technical savvy
Just one problem: The organization notes that this particular skill set is “scarce” and that most “employees lack the ideal mix of skills and competencies to achieve employers’ desired outcome.” This news is hardly reassuring for upper management or your HR department.
Increasingly, lower levels of management are making more hiring and strategic decisions that affect key stakeholders. Therefore, the workplace needs to make major shifts in corporate culture and strategic thinking amongst new hires.
Happily, certain types of job seekers looking to more meaningfully contribute to their organization and grow their careers may be better predisposed to mastering these new success skills and rules of engagement.
Keep the following seven traits in mind when interviewing new hires, to determine whether they’ve got what it takes to be defining members of your team.
1. Communication Skills
The umbrella term “communication skills” includes a trifecta of abilities, including the capacity to listen, write and speak. This is one of the top qualities employers look for in modern-day hires; it's essential for receiving, interpreting and giving direction. Likewise, a sense of social intelligence is also vital: Employees need to be able to understand where peers, colleagues and strategic partners are coming from, not just the words they’re saying, so they can better empathize and act on this information.
Chances are your employees will be simultaneously involved in several projects, tasks or initiatives. Therefore, the ability to juggle all with aplomb is a highly-valued skill. Effective multi-tasking is achieved when work is completed both efficiently and correctly, with a minimum of stress. Tomorrow’s workers must be well-equipped to juggle multiple tasks.
Enthusiasm is a valuable asset in new hires, as it shows the employee in question is passionate about the tasks he or she is performing for the organization. It goes hand in hand with positivity, and both can make a noticeable difference in what’s often a stressed, strained and/or hectic work environment. Plus, according to Sigal Barsade, professor of management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, positivity is not only contagious, but also has an impact on overall job performance, decision-making, creativity and turnover. A winning attitude can be invaluable and contagious.
Problem solving is a skill that sits somewhere at the nexus of creativity, level-headedness and logic. Those who exhibit it demonstrate a proven ability to objectively interpret incoming signals, and act both thoughtfully and with grace when a solution is needed. Workers with solid problem-solving skills aren’t just strategic thinkers; they should be able to keep a cool head when a situation arises and stay on task without the need for micro-management.
While not a single defining trait, solid organizational skills can be an asset to any worker. They indicate an employee is self-disciplined enough to gather the necessary information and data to keep his or her tasks both well-managed and on schedule — important traits for any leader. Powerful organizational skills alone do not great managers make, but they do help drive job candidates to be more professional, efficient and productive.
Integrity means being true and honest to oneself and others. It shows that someone knows his or her strengths and weaknesses, isn’t afraid to make mistakes or accept responsibility for doing so, and possesses a high degree of loyalty. Someone with strong integrity can be trusted to show respect, take responsibility and stand by the old adage “honesty is the best policy” — all a boon to your enterprises.
Chances are your open positions will require employees to cooperate and collaborate seamlessly with others. Therefore, you’ll want someone warm, friendly, easygoing and genuine — a solid team player can help bolster any winning lineup. With teamwork key to business success, look for candidates who are ready and willing to become a meaningful part of your organization.