10 Vital Traits to Look for In People You Hire

Generating value in any organization requires bringing together an amazing group of people around a worthy cause and compelling vision. Too many people look only to innovative technology or strong processes or new products. Those things have their role, but there is one thing successful companies have in common—it’s the people who are able to transform culture and reshape an organization.

That means it’s critically important that you hire the right people. Here are 10 traits that are a must:

They must embody emotional intelligence. Self-awareness and self-management are important skills; people with EI move the entire team forward, not just themselves.

They must have a growth mindset. Every hire needs to believe that with effort, perseverance and drive they can develop their natural qualities. People with that mindset are open to learning, feedback and becoming more productive and effective. They know they can overcome obstacles and learn from experience, and they’re willing to keep trying until they reach their goals.


They must have relentless drive. A great hire should have experience, but what’s more important is finding someone who’s self-motivated and tenacious. The best hires are looking for a combination of growth opportunities, responsibility, autonomy and a chance to prove their worth.

They must have a positive attitude. Being able to look on the bright side is a valuable asset in any new hire. A positive outlook often signifies a resilience and fortitude that can benefit your organization. Negativity has no place in a success-oriented environment.

They must be lifelong learners. Hire smart individuals who are open to learning and the constant pursuit of knowledge—personal or professional. These people enhance social inclusion and active citizenship within the workplace culture, and it encourages others to pursue their own development.


They must be agile and flexible. Don’t settle for someone who is satisfied with getting it “just about right.” Hire the person who is prepared to change course in the face of unexpected events, the person who will lean in to a situation and learn and fail and learn some more as they go. You want the person who sees value in making progress, learning from execution and delivering results.

They must value teamwork. Someone who prides themselves on how well they work on their own might not be the right candidate. You want someone who is primarily a team player. Team-oriented individuals know how to contribute to a group’s collective energy and creativity, and they understand that teams can get more done in less time than solo practitioners.

They are natural problem solvers. Solving problems is at the center of what many people do at work. Whether there is a problem to be solved internally or externally, knowing how to discover new solutions can be a valuable skill in a new hire. Those who are great problem solvers—who can find a path where everyone wins—can handle even the toughest situations in a wise and positive way.

They must have character. You can hire someone with incredible talent and experience, but none of it will matter if they don’t have character. Nothing great can be accomplished without integrity and authenticity. Find people of integrity who can be forthright about who they are.

They must draw their motivation from something bigger than themselves. Those who are intrinsically motivated by something that is bigger and more meaningful than themselves will eventually succeed. Hire someone who is committed to your mission. Purpose precedes process every time.

You can always teach skills and develop traits, but the core elements can’t be taught or faked. Hire the right people, then teach them what they need to know to be successful.

Lead from within: Make sure you hire people with the traits you want to define your team and organization.


#1 N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. Hamilton Lindley

    22. May, 2019

    Having an abundance mindset instead of a scarcity mindset is so helpful in many ways. I’ve been both. I like me (and others do too) when I’m living out of abundance. The people who are the hardest to deal with are those who live for scarcity. That person hordes power and information, thinking that it will make them indispensable. In fact, it just makes people avoid them and they lose their job.

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