6 Qualities Managers Should Look For When Hiring

Published on November 29, 2023 by David Zhang

6 Qualities Managers Should Look For When Hiring

When managers embark on the journey to expand their teams, the task can be as formidable as it is vital. Meticulous hiring not only infuses fresh talent into the organization but can also galvanize existing teams, sparking innovation and driving company growth. Understanding what to look for in candidates goes beyond what is captured on resumes or articulated in interviews.

It requires insight into qualities that forecast success in a role and fulfillment in the organization's ecosystem—attributes that are predictive of both performance and potential. Let's delve into six indispensable qualities managers should vigilantly search for when hiring.

1. Agile Learning Ability

In the dynamic theatre of the modern workplace, the aptitude to learn and adapt is paramount. Learning agility refers to a person's speed in learning from experiences and then applying that knowledge to unfamiliar situations. Look for candidates who demonstrate a history of learning new skills or adapting quickly to change—they're likely to meet future challenges with success.

Candidates with learning agility possess a blend of self-awareness and curiosity. They view challenges as learning opportunities rather than insurmountable obstacles. During interviews, explore their past experiences with change, ask how they've tackled new domains, and inquire about their journey from novice to proficient in past roles.

2. Cultural Fit & Emotional Intelligence

While skills and experience are quantifiable, the essence of a candidate often resides in their values and interpersonal finesse—factors that underpin their cultural fit within your organization. Candidates should align with the company’s core values and ethos, as this alignment is a strong predictor of long-term retention and job satisfaction.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a subset of this cultural resonance and speaks to a candidate's ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions—both their own and those of others. Beyond routine qualifications, search for those who exhibit empathy, self-awareness, and social skills, as these traits often lead to more cohesive and productive teams.

During interviews, you can assess EI by posing situational questions that require emotional navigation or evaluate how the candidate interacted with various levels of staff during the interview process.

3. Intrinsic Motivation

Passion cannot be taught, nor can genuine enthusiasm for one's work. Candidates instilled with intrinsic motivation find a deep, personal satisfaction in their work and are often self-starters, making them valuable assets. They pursue interests, extend their abilities, and tend to contribute more innovatively to projects.

You can identify intrinsically motivated candidates by exploring their past achievements and professional pursuits. Asking about projects they’ve initiated, or personal endeavors related to your industry, can reveal their innate enthusiasm and dedication.

4. Collaborative Spirit

Collaboration is the bedrock of modern organizations, forging pathways through which teams deliver outcomes greater than the sum of individual efforts. Candidates who thrive in team settings, actively listen, and contribute constructively can elevate the collaborative spirit of your workforce.

To evaluate this quality during the hiring process, managers can inquire about previous team dynamics the candidate has been a part of, their role within those teams, and instances where they’ve had to navigate conflict or collaborate cross-functionally. Candidates who can articulate these experiences well are likely to be strong team players.

5. Problem-Solving Prowess

Every role, at some junction, involves encountering and solving problems. Candidates who display a robust ability to dissect issues, consider multiple solutions, and methodically work through challenges bring immense value. Problem-solving is not always innate; for many, it’s honed over time through varied experiences and lessons learned.

Seek candidates who not only solve problems but do so with a level of creativity and innovation. Pose hypothetical problems or discuss real quandaries your team has faced, and gauge the candidate’s response. Their approach will provide insights into their problem-solving mentality.

6. Dependability & Responsibility

Employers can train for many things, but reliability is an inherent trait that's harder to cultivate post-hire. Candidates who demonstrate dependability by adhering to commitments and taking ownership of their work are often the cornerstone of high-performing teams.

Analyzing a candidate's work history for evidence of dependability is key. Did they consistently meet deadlines? Do they describe taking ownership of projects? Were they recognized for their accountability? Scenarios where the candidate describes times they have 'stepped up' or taken charge amidst challenges can be telltale signs of a dependable and responsible nature.

Hiring for the Future

Hiring with foresight involves considering how a candidate’s integration will evolve within the fabric of the company. Focus on individuals who exhibit scalability in their skills and adaptability in their approach. Technology and markets will continue to pivot at breakneck speed; your hires should be individuals who can pivot just as adeptly.

These six qualities serve as a hiring compass to guide managers towards acquiring talent that not only fills a role for today but can become leaders of tomorrow. I.e., hiring should not be about just filling a vacancy but strategically planting the seeds for future success of the organization.

In the spirit of cultivating excellence, Aomni stands beside you. The platform amplifies your hiring strategy by providing deep insights and streamlining the talent acquisition process. With a sharper focus, you can seek out these key attributes more effectively and build the team that’s ready not just for today, but for the future challenges on the business horizon.

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