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The recruitment process is incredibly difficult, especially when the competition is so fierce. Candidates may look equally great on paper, so it often comes down to intangible values to help you make the right decision. By highlighting a few key traits, you can help narrow down your candidate pool to the right candidate and thus help ensure recruiting and long-term success for you and your company.

two well-dressed business people having a meeting in an executive sunlit office

Passion

The last thing any recruiter wants to see is a potential leader that lacks passion. Good leaders are filled with it, and therefore it’s absolutely essential to hire a leader that is truly passionate about what they do. This extends to more than just loving the work; the best leaders are born that way, capable of taking charge when handed the reins. They can inspire others, build confidence in a team, and are amenable to the constant changes being thrown at them throughout their career.

Humility

Have you ever had a superior or colleague who felt they were never wrong? It’s an awful quality to have, especially when it influences key decision-making that can make or break a huge project or, even worse, a career. The best leaders are humble, willing to accept that they’re fallible and can – and will – make mistakes. They don’t mind being down in the trenches with their employees, and they’re incredibly responsive to the idea of learning from them.

Communication

The best leaders are effective communicators, capable of delivering their message clearly and concisely. They don’t waste time, they don’t use double-speak, and they always make sure their point is received and understood by all those listening. Effective communication goes both ways; you must be a good listener to be a good communicator. The best leaders take their time to listen to all requests, concerns, and ideas from their employees and fellow leaders.

Initiative

Have you ever had a boss that locked themselves away in their office, only to come out to deliver criticism or go to the bathroom? Great leaders take initiative. They take on new tasks with gusto, and work closely with their peers and employees to ensure the job is done efficiently and at the highest quality. To quality leaders, the “status quo” is a four-letter word that must be challenged on a daily basis.

Cool and Calm

No one wants a leader that can’t work under pressure. Not only does it look bad, but it doesn’t inspire confidence for your employees, which could in turn lead to lower morale and, eventually, turnover. While it’s difficult to determine a potential leader’s ability to handle pressure until the situation presents itself, a series of well-considered questions and, in some cases, seeking out character references can help discover a potential problem before it’s too late.

Courage

The last thing a successful company does is sit on the sidelines making the easy decisions. That’s why to be successful, you need to take risks. This can mean taking on a project you might not be completely ready for, or having the courage to stand up and speak your mind. It’s a rare trait to have, especially when it can be balanced with the above attributes.

By finding a leader with most or all of these qualities – skills can be learned, personality can not – you’ll be well on your way to recruiting a long-lasting new hire ready and willing to lead your company to success.

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