What to look for in a new hire

Posted on Thursday, November 30, 2017 by MSS Team3 comments

Hire for attitude, train for skill – the rallying call of business giants across the industry. Whilst, in a sense, is correct, if this is recruited for in totality, it results in a company full of highly enthusiastic and motivated staff… just without the right skills in place to do the job. In today’s fast paced business world, hiring and developing the right staff is essential. If a toxic, lazy, or just inefficient worker joins the ranks of a smaller business, it can be devastating – for a mid-sized business, it can pose a significant roadblock.

So, the question must be asked, when recruiting staff for your own business, what should you be looking for to guarantee long term success?


Attitude is indeed one of the most important qualities of a hire. This aspect is, however, entirely dependent on the infrastructure and talent already available in your organisation. Small businesses often do not have the time to train a new member of staff from scratch. A balance between attitude, experience, and various skills is essential for success here.


Some believe responsiveness to be an integral element of a positive attitude – but responsiveness is leveraging that attitude and actually doing something with it. Even the most enthusiastic employee, when continually getting things wrong, will not be long for the role. Responsiveness is this employee’s ability to take criticism – to take guidance – and integrate it into their working life. A good way to identify this in the interview stage is by simply asking for examples of where this has happened before.


When finding someone for a role, you need to find the combination of skills and experience. Whilst hiring a highly skilled staff member at a low amount of money may seem like a fantastic opportunity, in reality, this employee will leave for greener pastures as soon as possible. Conversely, hiring an unskilled employee for a huge salary is foolish for an entirely different set of reasons. The aspect here is context – find employees with the right experience for the right role, set out their path for growth, and you have the foundations of a long-term, loyal employee.

Leadership potential

Long term, leadership is one of the best traits an employee can have. If said employee is engaged and nurtured, then this leadership can be a guiding force in the future of your business. The best employees that you will find look for increased levels of responsibility and autonomy within their work – both qualities encapsulated by strong leaders. Once you have identified your leader, engage with them - make sure their goals are aligned with your own, and reward their successes in their new role.

When it comes to finding the best talent for your business, from identification, to job offer, there are a huge ream of aspects to consider. Many will not have exactly the right skills you require for the role – particularly within today’s skills shortage. By hiring based on these key criteria, however, the risk of a bad hire can be diminished, and the long-term success of your business can be managed effectively.  


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3 comments on "What to look for in a new hire"

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