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Five Key Attributes For Hiring: What Business People Should Consider In Employees

What qualities should you look for in a potential candidate? Should they have amassed geek-level knowledge in their field? What about the qualities of being morally resilient and empathetic? Do you really need people with leadership skills, or candidates that can be proactive and tech-savvy?

The truth is, every business requires a specific set of attributes they are looking for in a candidate. We’ve narrowed it down to the five key attributes that all candidates ideally should exhibit, no matter the business or field they’re in.


This seem like a generalized attribute, but it’s an important one to look for in candidates. People who are aware of their limitations, weaknesses, and strengths are more flexible and eager to improve upon them.

If a candidate cannot stand up and own up to their mistakes, how can you expect them to correct a mistake, and learn to avoid it in the future?

People with increased self-knowledge are often aspiring, honest individuals that don’t seek to cover up their mistakes. Instead, they acknowledge them and make an effort to correct them. This is the kind of individual you want  to be part of your business.

A disposition and ability to learn

Always opt for candidates with a disposition and ability to learn. People who feel they know everything already are less likely to want to sit down and devote time to learning more. Their know-it-all attitude impedes future self-development and they won’t be adding any value should you integrate them in your team.

Those with a learning ability and eagerness for the process, however, are full of potential human resources. They are willing to devour new knowledge and skills because they strive for excellence.

Emotional intelligence and humility

It’s okay to be ambitious and assertive. But if these attributes are an employee’s only qualities, then that’s not enough. In fact, it can be a negative. Businesses need to look for people who can exhibit emotional intelligence in the form of humility, no matter their personal or professional aspirations.

Those people who are always after credit, rewards, and applause will do anything to keep themselves in the spotlight. They will always overshadow the efforts of others because of their unquenchable thirst for recognition.  Pursuing success is commendable. Humility, however, balances things. It reminds people when the time is right to step down, to interfere, or to give others an opportunity to try.

It takes emotional aptitude to know when to take a step back and when to claim glory. It takes courage and self-confidence to admit to your own mistakes. These are the attributes that a progress-focused company should want its employees to exhibit.


Yes, you want the most promising perfectionists to be part of your business, but the problem with people who never fail is that their learning opportunities were very limited in the process.

Failure means people taking risks, people believing in their visions and striving to make them come to life. More importantly, failure equals learning. It’s only through trial and error that we achieve success.

So don’t look for people who never fail. First, anyone who says they’ve never, ever failed are probably not telling the truth. And second, finding out what happened to a person after a failure is a way of learning about their resilience and whether they have that essential won’t-stop-trying attitude that will help your business keep moving forward.

Lastly, people who don’t claim to be all-successful are those who tend to be wiser. Their mistakes were life lessons that guide their future efforts and they demonstrate their tendency to take accountability for their failures and not blame others for them.


If you cannot see passion and enthusiasm in a candidate’s eyes, move onto the next person. Without enthusiasm, there’s no way an employee-to-be will be a good, long-term asset for your company.

People need drive and passion to excel, and if the candidate you’re looking at doesn’t have these, don’t expect them to excel at what they do.

Self-knowledge, an ability to learn, enthusiasm, humility, and the resources to cope with failure are the five key attributes you should be looking for when interviewing for your business. Of course, other qualities and skills will also make it to the list depending on the industry your company belongs to, but these five are the essential attributes you’ll want your future employees to absolutely have.

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