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What Makes a Great Hire?


Every organization deals with hiring a new position. You are either replacing a former employee or hiring for a new position in the organization. It is vital you get the hire right. I have been in the position of making that hire hundreds of times over the years and luckily have gotten it right more than not. A bad hire can set your organization back years so it important you get it right.


I encourage potential new employees to ask the following question during their interview with a prospective new organization; “How will you determine after one year if you hire me for this position that the hire was successful?” I am amazed by the number of times the potential employer cannot give them a clear and concise answer to this question. This is a recipe for disaster. It is impossible to match a candidate to any position if you are not sure what the expectations are for the position? To make a great hire you must understand the traits great hires demonstrate.


There are many traits that go into making a great hire. The most important thing for any employer is to clearly know the expectations, duties, and responsibilities the organization has for the job they are hiring. Determine realistic job responsibilities. Prospective employers need to determine who is a cultural fit and the traits a good fit brings to the table.


Attitude and experience are important for every new hire. Your new hires will impact the very foundation of your organization and impact the culture that exists. Intelligence is a plus, but emotional intelligence leading to a strong positive attitude is a must. Too many employers simply hire based on a match of experience to the position. Hiring a talented experienced new employee who is a personality nightmare will lead to not only failure in this position but for other employees in your organization as well.


Studies have shown that the matching of new employee’s prior experience and performance to an open position provides a weak correlation between success or failure in a new position. Experience is valuable in job performance, especially when first starting a new position, but that impact shrinks considerably within a short time. The factors that impact job performance most are emotional intelligence, energy, and integrity.


Culture fit within your organization is very important in the success or failure of a hire. People unfortunately normally leave people and not organizations! Does the potential new employee fit the company culture? Their ability to interact with clients, peers, supervisors and others will determine if they can be successful in any role. Many talented experienced employees have failed because they did not fit the ethos of an organization.

Look for people who share your mission and vision for the organization. New employees who are willing to go the extra mile and be a team player are vital to your growth and success. Identify potential employees who are eager to grow, humble, emotionally stable, and pleasant to be around. I have been amazed how many people are in positions within organizations who have no people skills. Experience is nice but if you do not have the ability to effectively share it with others, it is useless. Individuals lacking good attitude and communication skills are harming your product and keeping good employees away.


Strong communication skills are a must. Determine if the potential employee is timely in their responses. Are their conversations clear and concise and do they effectively process information from and to others? I have found potential employees with connections to varsity athletics, extra curriculars and strong academic programs often demonstrate the ability to perform hard work, communicate effectively and display commitment to a job.


If they demonstrate the skills needed, how did they acquire those skills. Employees who seek to continue to improve their subject knowledge in a position will continue to evolve and change for the better. Strong employees are willing to follow whatever path is needed to get the mentoring and training they need for a position. Look for people with passion for the job you are hiring. Can the individual find innovative and creative ways to problem solve issues? How does the employee fit within the style of operation in your group? Are they team oriented or self-focused?


As the hiring manager determine the way a potential employee performs their best work and analyze how that fits within your organization by asking the proper questions in the hiring process. It is easy to find people who have the experience to do the job and perform their daily duties but that alone is not enough? Delivering a great hire starts with identifying the best candidate for the team and not necessarily the most experienced candidate for the job.


The answer for determining whether a recent hire was a successful hire is quite simple. Ask yourself; Did the employee over the course of the year contribute to the performance and growth of the organization in a positive manner and are they the type of teammate that cares enough to help others for the other person’s benefit and not their own? That is a successful hire!


EMP staff has successfully hired hundreds of positions in our careers. Let us help you with your next one.


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