The Crucial Traits You’re Overlooking in Candidates

By The Intersect Group

Skills are critical, of course.

Certifications also often are, as are certain post-secondary degrees.

Past job experience is also important.

But there are several important character traits that hiring managers often overlook when searching for new employees.

How “thirsty” are they?

The “thirstier” they are, the more they want it, and the harder they’ll work to deliver results.

Signs of a “thirsty” candidate:

  • Although they’ve studied the job description and website, they ask many questions about why the position is open, how you see the job helping the department and company reach its goals, where you hope to take the company/department in the future, etc.
  • They also let you know how their particular background and skills will help your department/the company reach those goals.
  • They focus more on how they can help you rather than how the job can help them.

What’s their EQ level?

“EQ” stands for “emotional quotient,” more commonly known as “emotional intelligence.” EQ is an indication of someone’s ability to understand, manage and use their emotions in “positive ways” to communicate well, relieve stress, empathize with the troubles of others, manage and overcome challenges, and calmly resolve conflict.

It helps us meet our goals, build strong relationships, succeed in our personal and career goals, and do well on the job in the context of work.

Why would you want someone with a healthy EQ?

Studies show that EQ is one of the most important indicators of positive on-the-job performance. It impacts the career of the individual with a high EQ and the workplace itself because those who have high EQ  encourage positive workplace relationships and good team performance and improve how enjoyable it is to work in a department or for a particular company.

Hire for higher EQ and you’ll find that work throughout your department is more productive, successful, and enjoyable overall.

How accountable are they? 

Too many of us today (sadly) have something of a victim mentality. Or at least “I didn’t mean to make a mistake so it’s not my fault” way of thinking.

Thus we’re always waiting for someone else to get us started on a project, to find the things that need to be done or fixed, to make improvements, and so on.

Instead, look for candidates who own up to their mistakes, show initiative, apologize when they discover or it’s pointed out to them that they’ve made a mistake, etc.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much more quickly projects are completed – and how few mistakes are made in them – when your team is filled with responsible/accountable employees.

How do you find them?

In the interview, ask the usual “tell me about the time you made a mistake and what you did about it” questions but also ask:

  • Did you ever discover a colleague’s mistake? If so, what did you do?
  • Tell me about a time you realized you made a mistake. How did you find out and what did you do?
  • Your boss discovered a large mistake on a joint project. How did the group handle his/her instructions to redo it from scratch?

Be wary of candidates who say they never make mistakes or who say their boss/colleague was wrong to ask them to redo the project.

How well do they “fit” in with your team?

Talented candidates who fit in with your company’s or department’s culture will provide opportunities for you and your team members to maintain a healthy, collaborative and positive work environment.

Do be wary of hiring people “just like you” and instead make an effort to hire those who “fit” in personality, outlook, etc. rather than in educational background, social status, etc. (In other words, be careful about unconscious bias in hiring.)

Finding the best IT/Finance professionals

The Intersect Group can help you find candidates with all of the traits listed above, and then some!

We specialize in recruiting IT and finance/accounting professionals for contract, temporary, contract-to-hire, and direct-hire professionals.

Learn more about how we can help you find top talent.