Your company culture depends on the quality of people you hire. When building your team, it’s important to look for soft skills. In the hiring process, gauge the candidates’ emotional intelligence. You want to hire people who can avoid unnecessary conflict and can represent the company well. New hires should complement the rest of your team.
Your external brand messaging to customers must be supported by an internal employee culture. If your brand and culture are not in alignment, then you will have customer churn. Remember: Your employees are the best ambassadors for your brand, so it’s important to get hiring decisions right.
Here are three qualities to look for in new hires as you build your team and cultivate your culture.
One of the essential traits to look for is self-awareness. It is important to have the ability to see oneself clearly. When bringing on new hires, you want to have the ability to recognize what they do well and what they don’t do well.
You want to build a team that doesn’t try to put on a show of bravado or other compensation mechanisms for shortfalls in their character. It’s essential to look for new hires who know who they are and don’t try to be someone they’re not.
You don’t need perfect people: You need people on your team who are comfortable enough with who they are that they can accept other people as they are.
Another criterion you want to look for in new hires is humility. As important as self-awareness is as a starting point, humility affords someone the ability to hear constructive criticism. You want your team to be able to hear hard things and make the necessary changes.
You can’t afford to bring on new hires who get defensive easily. And you don’t want people on your team who take offense at constructive criticism. Instead, you want people on your team who exhibit the humility to listen to hard things and honestly consider what is valid and what doesn’t apply.
Humble people are not weak people. People who exhibit humility are strong because they possess self-awareness. They can listen to what needs to be said and allow it to make them better.
When bringing on new hires, it’s important to look for a disposition for growth. You want to avoid hiring people who feel that they have learned all that they will learn. Your team should be populated with people who want to become more than they are.
Growth applies to soft skills as well as hard skills. Someone who possesses a potential for growth exhibits a humility that allows them to change. They are willing to be challenged with new information or circumstances that push them past their comfort zone.
Don’t make the mistake of hiring someone who would be perfect for the job that you have open now. Hire someone who can do that job and has the capacity for growth.
You want a team that will help you succeed now—and in the future. New hires who have self-awareness, humility, and a growth mindset will serve you well both now and later: They will help foster a team-oriented culture long after you hire them. When you have a critical mass of people that possess these three qualities, your company has the human resources necessary to go wherever you want to go. They have the ability to be more than just employees: they have the potential to be agents of transformation.
What do you look for in new hires?
Robert McFarland is the author of the bestsellers, Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew and Dear Employee: What Your Boss Wishes You Knew. Robert is also President of Transformational Impact LLC, a leadership development consultancy helping companies make ideals actionable.