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The 3 Key Qualities You Need in an Employee

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Finding What MattersThe 3 Key Qualities You Need in an Employee

While “excellent prioritization skills”, “strong multitasking ability” and “self-motivated” are desirable qualities in any potential employee, none of those attributes will truly propel your company forward.

There are three key personal characteristics–which cannot be taught–that every recruiter should be looking for when screening candidates, reading cover letters, and evaluating resumes.

The Key Three

1. Positivity

The only difference between your bad day and your good day is your attitude, and the only thing between a productive team and an unproductive team is their attitude about the challenges they face. Having a positive attitude consists of showing up excited and ready to give your very best, despite adversity. It’s putting on your game face and smiling through the pain, because no one ever got anywhere by complaining.

Barbara Corcoran, an entrepreneur and judge on the TV show “Shark Tank,” knows a thing or two about management. Her number one criteria for her employees: their attitude.

In an interview with The New York Times she said, “I learned that if you have just one unhappy person in a pool of 30 happy people, you feel that weight. I couldn’t wait to get them in my office to tell them they had to leave. I loved firing complainers.”

2. Curiosity

Curiosity is arguably more important than existing intelligence. Any employee can learn something new, but a genuine interest in understanding is an invaluable quality that cannot be taught.

If you have a curious candidate, chances are you also have one who is (1) communicative and unafraid to ask questions, (2) hungry to learn more and therefore likely to learn quickly, and (3) eager to find the most effective solution to any given problem.

Andrew Benett, global CEO of Havas Worldwide, understands the importance of curiosity in the workplace. He illustrated this in a guest post he wrote for Entrepreneur:

“There’s a lot of talk about creating cultures of creativity–especially within the creative industry–and I agree wholeheartedly that such cultures are vital. What I think too many people overlook; however, is creativity’s important driver: curiosity. To a large extent, curiosity underlies every act of creativity, but I think it also extends beyond it.”

3. Empathy

Sympathy is feeling compassion or sorrow for the hardships of another, while empathy is putting yourself in another’s shoes and understanding why they are feeling the way they feel. It requires a high level of consideration and conscientiousness, two desirable traits in any person (especially an employee).

Sharlyn Lauby, also known as the HR Bartender, perfectly summarized the importance of empathy in the workplace in her blog post.  

“If organizations want employees to start solving their own problems and fixing customer issues, employees will need to learn empathy. Because if you can’t understand what the customer is feeling, how can you really fix their problems? Or frankly, if you can’t put yourself in the shoes of your customer – how will the company create new products and services that the customer really wants?”

Your Best Employee

With a great attitude, inquisitive mind, and compassionate heart, your next employee should add some unteachable, unbeatable, invaluable assets to your team!The 3 Key Qualities You Need in an Employee

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