5 things to look for when hiring top talent

Best candidates
the best media candidates
Hiring new people to join an existing team is something that you always aim to get right the first time around – the costs of getting it wrong don’t bare thinking about, right? - the recruitment process is costly and time consuming. - the wrong hire can have a huge effect on team spirit as well as the bottom line.

There is nothing more satisfying and rewarding in business than building a team from scratch that works well together and consistently delivers. But that sense of unity and productivity can potentially be ruined by just one bad hire – that’s why it is so vital to get recruitment right the first time.

Here are five traits to look for in potential employees.

1. Capabilities, not just qualifications. Remember the best qualified or most experienced person will not always be the perfect fit for the role. You are looking for someone who is best suited to carry out the job you want to fill, and fits the bill culturally and commercially. Occasionally you may have situations where somebody is coming from another industry, but their core skill set is easily transferable, and actually makes them a better match than somebody who looks perfect on paper.

2. Initiative. Most people’s CVs will state that they are able to work under their own steam and can think for themselves, but in reality this is not always accurate. Their perception of ‘self-starting’ may not be quite the same as yours and it’s up to you to check this out: setting tasks during the recruitment process will allow you to see for yourself if candidates can use their own initiative under pressure. If you are recruiting for someone to work in marketing, ask them to write you a press release and a brief marketing plan for a product launch or campaign. I would expect any good candidate to have done their homework on the role and company they are applying for. If they are unable to answer basic questions about what you do, then you have to consider whether they have the required initiative.,

3. Team players. There is nothing wrong with ambition and drive but you will still want to take on people who are team players. Strong characters are important and can make a difference to any business but that should never come at a cost and they should not be allowed to dominate and lower other people’s morale. Any potential recruit must work well as part of a team rather than putting themselves and their own ambitions first. Taking someone on who is only interested in furthering their own career can cause a lot of damage, particularly within a small team or unit.

4. Upgrades. Whoever you hire should bring additional value to the business. Look around your team and see if there are any gaps that need to be filled, or any areas where you are currently weak. Is the potential candidate going to fill this gap? If you are hiring because somebody has left, you shouldn’t necessarily replace them with someone who is ‘just as good’ – further your ambitions and hire someone who can fill the gap, and add more.

5. Enthusiasm. Probably the most important quality of all. People who are genuinely keen to do well can be really tough to find but will make all the difference in the workplace. You can learn new skills and pick up experience along the way but there can never any substitute for real enthusiasm (and work ethic!). Bringing on board somebody who possesses this will also make your current team members up their game, which means your business will have a renewed sense of purpose and energy.

If you don’t have the time or experience to employ this approach to all of your recruitment needs, you could be exposing your business to unnecessary risk. Simply get in touch with LeapUK and we will manage your hiring process painlessly for you, or offer any advice and guidance you need along the way. 

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