Exactly what kinds of people do employers tend to look for when hiring? In the 2021 Traits and Qualities Employers Look For study by Zety, recruiters identified loyalty (52%), integrity (49%) and sincerity (48%) as the three most important qualities in a job applicant. The majority (83%) of those same recruiters said that their first impression of a candidate was an important factor in their hiring decisions.
While these important qualities, and attractive interview skills all boil down to the same thing – a candidate’s “niceness” factor – a variety of employee types can exhibit them. After all, it takes all types of personalities to put together a successful staff. If you’re looking to build your dream team, look for these 10 personality types during the hiring process.
One valuable type of employee to hire is the lone ranger. According to Grant Robinson, founder and CEO of People Values, this is also known as the “autonomous fanatic.” Those who thrive on autonomy are often self-motivated to accomplish the goals their employer has set out, he said.
“An independent person can be a great asset to a team,” Robinson told Business News Daily. “They do not need to be micromanaged or externally motivated to do the job they were hired to do.”
Robinson also advocates hiring fanatics – people who are completely committed to the business. He explained that small business owners who hire an autonomous fanatic free up time for themselves, which can give them the opportunity to focus on actually growing their business.
“No longer will most of their time and energy be spent motivating the unmotivated,” Robinson said.
Pat Goodwin, executive coach and co-principal of Drapkin Goodwin, said she would build her dream staff around those who demonstrate good sportsmanship by understanding the value of working together and having a strong sense of being part of the team. She considers “team” an acronym for “together everyone accomplishes more.”
“They are someone who is willing to give credit where credit is due, are excellent listeners and are willing to take direction,” Goodwin said. “They are willing to lead by example and mentor others.”
When researching which qualities employers look for based on seniority level, Zety found that being a “team player” was slightly more important for a senior-level employee (47%) than an entry-level role (43%).
Speaking of mentorship, every team can benefit from having a mentor. This is often an employee with several years’ work experience under their belt. They are proficient in their field, and they want to help share their knowledge with younger or less experienced workers. Mentors can help with both personal and professional development. A mentor also leads by example. They are an ideal type of employee, as they can help you develop your inexperienced workers into great team members. Learn more about how to mentor your team.
According to Talley Flora, CEO of Red Seat, the ability to get started quickly without overthinking the process is essential. By spending too much time deliberating how to approach a situation or plan a campaign, Flora says employees are losing out on valuable time that could be spent actually accomplishing something.
“That quick start, and a need to get a job done, is one of the most essential components for success in my business and many of the companies I work with,” she said.
Not everyone is good with numbers and analytics, but it’s important to have at least one employee on your team who thrives on research. This employee is great at analyzing multiple options and deliberating which one is best. They can take business and employee data, and break it down into usable, digestible information for your company’s leaders.
The researcher is important to have because they can help you determine how successful your organization is. They can also help discover if there are more efficient ways of doing things, saving you money in the long run.
Staffing expert Kelly Smith recommends hiring “overcomers.” Overcomers, according to Smith, have never had anything handed to them on a silver platter, paid their way through college, and have never been the beneficiaries of nepotism.
“Most of what they achieved in life was a result of their setting a goal and strategically planning how to achieve that goal,” Smith said. “They aren’t afraid to face big issues head-on and solve them.”
She said these are the employees who can handle the large projects and stresses that come with high-profile assignments.
The multitasker is someone who thrives in bustling environments where they get to wear many hats. They enjoy flexing their skills by performing various rotating tasks, instead of repeating the same function every single day. This type of employee is ideal for startups and small businesses that don’t have a full staff yet and need their employees to act in multiple roles at once. The multitasker has many talents, and they are flexible and highly adaptable. Adaptability is one of the most important qualities to employers.
Tracey Madden, president of McIntosh Staffing Resources, says self-starters are individuals who know they must work hard at their job to realize the satisfaction and sense of achievement they’re looking for.
“Individuals that take possession of the outcome of their efforts are more likely to find satisfaction in their job as well,” she said.
According to Madden, these individuals shine in a team atmosphere because they don’t need prodding from superiors to get things accomplished and serve as a role model to the rest of their peers.
In the study by Zety, employers listed being a “self-starter” among the top 10 qualities they look for in job applicants.
Innovation can be key to an organization’s growth and success. An innovative employee is one who constantly brings new ideas to the table. They are thoughtful and creative, and they often come up with original solutions to problems. This employee challenges the status quo, which can be helpful for creating more efficient processes.
If you are seeking to add an innovator to your team, you can use specific interview questions to test their logic. You may also want to present them with a “problem” and ask how they would solve it. The more creative the solution, the more likely they can fulfill the role of the innovator.
To some individuals, lists are everything. Hiring a task-oriented employee who acts as a planner can do wonders for the long-term success of your business. These employees pay attention to company goals and what it takes to reach them. They are great at strategizing, organizing and staying on task. They can also help other employees stay focused and show them some techniques for improving their own workflow, while coaching the rest of your team on how to improve their proactive approach to their jobs.
How an employee portrays themselves in an interview can be very telling about their personality. However, more than half of the employers Zety surveyed (52%) also rely on some form of personality test or psychological profiling technique during the hiring process. These tests can go into more detail about a candidate’s personality traits.
According to Procurement and Supply Australasia, employers often use one of these leading personality tests:
These tests vary in length and focus. Recruiters can use the results of a formal assessment to make a more informed decision about whether the candidate has the personality traits they are looking for; however, although they can give you a glimpse into what a person might be like, it is important not to make entire assumptions about someone based on their assessment results.
Chad Brooks contributed to the writing and reporting in this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.