Top Ten Traits Employers Want in a Candidate

Can anyone list the top ten traits that employers want in an employee? Numerous articles have been written on the subject, and none of them agree! Here’s a combined listing of what many of these articles claim are the top ten:

  • Attendance, Reliability, Dependability
  • Energy, Passion,  Motivation
  • Work Ethic, Honesty, Transparency, Trustworthiness
  • Flexibility, Adaptability, Receptiveness to Change
  • Multi-tasking
  • Perseverance, Determination, Persistence
  • Appreciation
  • Communication Skills, Oral and Written
  • Job Pacing, Quantity, Productivity, Efficiency
  • Initiative
  • Loyalty
  • Ability to Problem-Solve, Reason, Analyze, and Research
  • Ability to Work With Others, Be a Team Player, and Collaborate; Unselfishness; Others-Mindedness; Interpersonal Skills; and Getting Along Well with Others
  • Learning Attitude, Intelligent learner
  • Positive Attitude, Enthusiasm
  • Personal Responsibility, Accountability
  • Decision-making skills
  • Customer-focus
  • Leadership, Management Skills
  • Creativity
  • Professionalism
  • Computer Literacy
  • Planning, Organizational Skills
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Motivation, Ability to Work Without Supervision

It feels like a shotgun blast, doesn’t it? That comprehensive list covers every possible trait common to humans in general! Is it reasonable to imagine that there could be only ten top qualities that would match the desires of every employer?  That kind of thinking is similar to the “one-size-fits-all” dress which, as it turns out, isn’t actually a suitable fit for most women!

The kind of candidate needed by you, the employer, really depends upon several factors unique to your organization, such as your company culture, what tasks you need the candidate to accomplish to satisfy your team’s goals, and the type of product or service you offer. This is where your experienced staffing agency can help. A great recruiting partner who really listens to understand the requirements of your position is better equipped to target just the right kind of candidate and meet your deadline to fill the job opening.

So don’t buy into the idea that some secret “top-ten-traits-fit-all” list exists. But, every time you have a new opening, do go through the process of defining the top ten traits your new hire needs to succeed in the position.  Armed with this knowledge, your interviews will be more focused and you’ll increase your chances of getting the quality candidate you need.

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By Marcianne Kuethen © August 2010

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