5 Key Characteristics I Look For in New Hires

I’ve been hiring, a lot, which has given me tons of opportunity to meditate on the qualities that help breed success, not just at my organization but for many fast-growing startups and companies.

So here are a few random things I’ve been thinking about as I continue to grow and scale my company.

Obviously it’s worth noting that every hire is different and every context for the hire is different but these essentials seem to keep coming up for me and our team. Perhaps you’ll find them beneficial to at least think about:

  1. Our new hires and staff need to be versatile in relational management yet specialized in a specific functional area. These people know and exploit their strengths We’re looking for a “T” hires and people who can get shit done.
  2. They need to be extremely teachable which necessarily requires that they have a character that contains humility. This is tough because talented people can oftentimes have mega egos. We have to be able to lead this person to perform well with the goals that we have for the organization and they need to be able to take direction well.
  3. But they also need an independent spirit since I simply cannot (and will not) micro-manage (i.e. self-leadership). We’ll give them parameters and they shall execute with excellence. My commitment to them is that I will provide them all that they need to be successful (within wisdom, naturally).
  4. They need to have an insatiable desire to learn (and continue to learn) the art of their craft.
  5. They need to understand their stewardship as a leader. I only hire growing and capable leaders who will be ready for even greater challenges, roles, and responsibilities.

Just a few thoughts off the top of my head. Here are some additional thoughts on preparing oneself for working in a startup environment if that’s where you think you’re headed.

Finally, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s terribly difficult to diagnose whether a potential hire has these characteristics before you actually hire them on as you can only do so much ascertain their integrity.

What’s nice is that you can, generally-speaking, discover the truth very quickly once they are on board and then make more informed decisions about their role and seat on the bus for the long-term.