Coping with holes in your staff is challenging. It’s easy to wish for a new hire who’ll come in, do a good job, and stay there so you never need to fill that role again. But to benefit the company most, you should be looking for employees who’ll stay a while and then make a move—not move on, but move up. That means hiring with growth potential in mind. When seeking employees who’ll excel over time, look for the following characteristics.
Core competency. The candidate has to do a solid job in the position they start out with, no question. Without baseline technical skills, they won’t get the job done. They also won’t earn the respect of their teammates and colleagues in other departments, which is critical for more senior jobs that require more interpersonal and leadership skills.
Interest in the industry. Moving up the ladder often means moving away from a hands-on technical role and gaining more knowledge about the business side of the work. Candidates who express an interest in the business problems being solved as well as the technology used in the solution will be more successful in filling other roles.
Desire to grow. No matter how much potential you see in an employee, it doesn’t matter unless they want grow into new opportunities. Look for candidates who are enthusiastic about the ways the current position will let them learn and grow. Especially look for candidates who are open to growing in new directions—not just learning the latest version of a technology, but learning entirely new subject matter.
Flexibility and adaptability. To succeed in multiple positions in your organization, the new hire will need the ability to adapt to different responsibilities and different ways of doing things. Look for someone who’s held multiple roles within a project, or who offers suggestions on how things could have been done better rather than holding the attitude that “that’s just how we did it.”
Good interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills are needed for senior roles that are more about communicating and coordinating with others than doing work themselves. Beyond that, if the hire doesn’t have good interpersonal skills, they may not build solid relationships with others in the company—relationships that can help or hinder success over the long term.
InReach helps businesses keep an eye on the long-term picture while solving short-term staffing needs. Contact us to learn how we can help you find employees with the skills you need to solve problems now and the growth potential to solve new problems in the future.