There are numerous characteristics to look for as you evaluate job candidates. The specifics will depend on the job being filled and the hiring company, among other factors. But there are certainly transferable skills that are particularly important as you assess talent, especially in the HR arena.
Here are three such critical traits. This is a shortlist, and, of course, it doesn’t imply that these qualities are the only ones you should be checking off your ideal candidate list. But, definitely keep them in mind as you get the hiring process rolling …
HR practitioners have a bit of a reputation for being talkers – and this is a strength, up to a point. In addition to articulating their messages clearly, both verbally clearly and in writing, the best candidates are those who also know how to actively listen, grasp and understand what other people are saying to them.
- At all levels of an organization, effective communication is key to building and maintaining strong working relationships. If an open flow of communication exists and employees feel their voices are being heard, they will feel better about themselves and the company they work for. On the flip side, if communication is lacking, the end result is an unmotivated, unhappy, disgruntled workforce.
- In a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study of 400 companies, on average, each one reported losing $62.4 million a year due to inadequate communications.
2. Willingness to Learn
Nobody comes into a new job knowing everything about how it’s done. Everyone has to learn something in order to be successful; for instance, the ropes of a new company or industry, or their colleagues’ functions and responsibilities. Even more importantly, a lifelong openness to learning is a key trait to embrace throughout one’s career.
- In a candidate, this characteristic will enable them to get a strong grip on their new role more quickly and develop the best techniques and absorb important job-related information. It proves their commitment to their new venture and indicates they have the drive and adaptability to keep getting better at what they do.
3. Culture Fit
A candidate can check all the boxes for desired hard and soft skills, but none of it matters unless they’ll be the right cultural fit for a job. They need to understand and embrace a workplace environment, vision, mission, and work styles, or their shelf life at a new organization will be very limited.
- Sit down with a client or team members and be sure company culture is clearly defined and communicated before starting a recruitment process. What exactly does cultural fit look like? Narrow it down to specific qualities and values.
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