Three Qualities To Look For When Hiring New Team Members

This article originally appeared in Forbes.

Any business owner or manager will tell you that hiring is one of the hardest things they do. It’s difficult to find genuine A-players who not only have the skills a position demands but also make meaningful contributions, don’t require much management and blend seamlessly with your team. Here are three qualities that will distinguish star candidates from the rest:

They can do the job.

Ask yourself the basic questions: Can they do the job and do it well? Do they possess the necessary skills to excel in the position?

A person’s track record speaks volumes about how he or she will perform. A track record is more than a resume — it’s a proven history of accomplishments. To get beyond the resume and see a candidate’s track record, put a hiring process in place and ask probing questions during interviews, such as:

  • What challenges have you faced, and how did you overcome them?
  • What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made, and what did you learn from it?
  • Do you consider yourself a lifetime learner, and are you comfortable with change? (They’ll say yes, of course, so be sure to ask for examples that prove it.)

The answers you get will let you know if you have a can-do candidate on your hands — someone who accepts challenges and finds ways through them and who is always learning and finding better ways to do things. A resume will tell you where they’ve worked and how long they spent on the job. You need to know more in order to determine if they’ve got what it takes to add to your team in a positive way.

They will do the job.

Ask yourself whether the candidate has the will to get up every day and do what it takes to get the job done. This is about attitude, and it’s even more important than job skills. A-players are driven by a passion for the work they do. There’s a fire inside them that feeds the need to be better in all things. Not only do they have the skills to move forward, but they have the drive and enthusiasm to do the job well and exceed expectations.

When considering candidates, ask what motivates them. Is it family, financial gain or a drive to succeed? If there’s any hesitation in the answers you receive or if they don’t know, then they’re not the person for your organization. As a business leader, you bring passion and a sense of purpose to your work every day. You want like-minded people surrounding you to feed off that energy and add to it. A healthy team needs players who can bring energy and motivation to the entire organization.

They fit in with your team.

Will the candidate fit into the team you’ve already built? This can be a tricky question and is usually decided on a gut feeling, which is not always the best method. Again, make sure you have a standardized process and questions to get the information you need to make a good hire.

Some questions you should ask are:

  • Does the candidate bring something new or unique to the team?
  • Do the candidate’s personal and professional values align with the mission and core values of the company?
  • Based on their personality, will the candidate work well with the rest of the team? This is probably the most important piece of the puzzle because a team member who doesn’t fit into the mix will disrupt workflow and hurt company culture.

Interviewing can be a long and tedious process, but it’s crucial to stay vigilant and be on the lookout for people who align with what’s most important to you and your organization. Work your process. Invest the necessary time. Ask the right questions, and offer a position only when it’s clear you’ve found a match. Your business can only benefit from your investment, and the rest of your team will thank you.