Insights ... at your fingertips

Call Us Today(514) 745-3189
Toll Free:1-888-855-6975

Top 10 traits and skills to look for in job candidates

Posted by Deb Muoio

Jul 22, 2015 11:04:00 AM

top-10-traits-and-skills-to-look-for-in-job-candidatesThere are certain personality traits and certain skills that are very job-specific. If you’re hiring a salesperson, you’ll probably look for someone who has keen powers of persuasion. If you’re hiring a police officer, you’ll want someone who is courageous and not afraid to face danger. If you’re hiring a doughnut maker, you’ll want to look for a person who has good self-discipline because you don’t want him or her to eat 1 out of every 5 doughnuts made.

There are specific traits and skills however, that are essential to nearly every job, whether you’re a construction worker, a teacher, or a financial advisor. After collecting data for our Employee Attitude and Personality Test from people in a variety of job fields, we focused our analysis on two groups:

  • Top performers who are satisfied with their job
  • Poor performers who are not satisfied with their job

Here’s where these two groups differed:

(Note: Scores range from 0 to 100; the higher the score, the better).

Independence

  • Score for top, satisfied performers: 81
  • Score for poor, unsatisfied performers: 55

Top performers are decisive, assertive, and self-motivated. They are comfortable taking on a lot of responsibility and require little guidance and support from management. They are self-reliant and require little supervision.

Stress Management

  • Score for top, satisfied performers: 83
  • Score for poor, unsatisfied performers: 57

Stress on the job cannot always be avoided, which is why is it’s so important to develop healthy coping strategies. Top performers are resilient and generally thrive in high-pressure situations. Their high level of adaptability and resourcefulness allows them to bounce back from hardship and failure quicker than others.

Initiative

  • Score for top, satisfied performers: 80
  • Score for poor, unsatisfied performers: 54

Some people wait for opportunities to fall onto their lap – top performers prefer to seek out opportunities and make things happen. They are proactive and comfortable taking initiative, which means that they won’t wait to be told to do something.

Drive

  • Score for top, satisfied performers: 78
  • Score for poor, unsatisfied performers: 52

Setting challenging (and realistic) goals is a good first step, but it takes drive to put things into motion and achieve those goals. Top performers are perseverant and determined. Once they set their mind on an objective, they won’t give up until they achieve it. Even when obstacles litter the path to success, they refuse to allow these setbacks to discourage or deter them.

Conscientiousness

  • Score for top, satisfied performers: 79
  • Score for poor, unsatisfied performers: 55

Conscientiousness, a productivity orientation defined by traits like diligence, meticulousness, and mindfulness, has been linked to job success in numerous research studies – more so than any other trait. Top performers aren’t just hard-working; they are dedicated to completing every task they take on to the best of their ability.

top-10-traits-and-skills-to-look-for-in-job-candidatesCartoon

Calculated Risk-taking

  • Score for top, satisfied performers: 79
  • Score for poor, unsatisfied performers: 56

There are risk-takers and then there are smart risk-takers – and top performers tend to fall into the latter category. They don’t take chances for the thrill nor do they take risks just for the sake of it; every decision they make is carefully planned out. Top performers will do everything they can to minimize the consequences of risk-taking by conducting research, weighing the pros and cons, and preparing a Plan B.

Trainability

  • Score for top, satisfied performers: 83
  • Score for poor, unsatisfied performers: 61

There is always room to learn and improve, whether a person is an entry-level employee or a high-ranking executive. Top performers are open to coaching and constructive criticism, and are always looking for ways to expand their skill set and add to their knowledge.

Steadiness

  • Score for top, satisfied performers: 80
  • Score for poor, unsatisfied performers: 58

There are few things that are more annoying to managers than employees who “clock-watch”; just as the day starts winding down their work effort wanes. Top performers enjoy being kept busy and can be trusted to put in a dedicated work effort, all day, every day. They will keep plodding ahead until they finish whatever they set out to do and are not opposed to putting in extra time to complete a project when it’s required.

Leadership Potential

  • Score for top, satisfied performers: 78
  • Score for poor, unsatisfied performers: 56

Promoting from within the company is often a lot easier than hiring a new supervisor or manager, as it requires less training and orientation. Although they are good followers, top performers have everything it takes to be a strong and capable leader. They are comfortable taking charge and can wield authority with finesse.

Soft Skills

  • Score for top, satisfied performers: 75
  • Score for poor, unsatisfied performers: 54

Even in jobs where employees only interact with one another, soft skills are still important. Top performers are skilled at building a rapport with others and tend to be good networkers. They can adapt to any social situation with ease.

If you’re interested in using the EAPT (Employee Attitude and Personality Test) or other tests for HR purposes, request a free trial for ARCH Profile here.

Want to learn more about using psychological tests for hiring, leadership development, career development or talent retention? Download our free eBook loaded with down-to-earth information about psychological testing for HR purposes.

 

Topics: HR Tips, Recruitment, Hiring, Personality Assessment, Pre-employment Testing, Training, Competencies

Subscribe to Email Updates


Request your free trial of ARCH Profile!

 

Recent Posts

Share on

   

Follow us on