Alternative Traits To Look For In New Hires


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The workplace is undergoing a transformation. More traditional methods and approaches i.e. ‘the way it’s always been done’ are being replaced with alternative ways of thinking and acting. I see this myself in my own position, as I observe an ever-changing workforce, new working trends that we as a business always strive to be on the correct side of, and a general shift towards a more dynamic working environment. 

As part of this process, we are beginning to realize that success in the workplace is not solely dependent on conventional qualifications. Instead, a shift towards recognizing and valuing alternative traits is taking place, paving the way for a more diverse and dynamic workforce.

I’d like to share some of my own experiences about this and provide some guidance for fellow business leaders to hopefully make the right decisions in the future. Here are the alternative traits I have noticed to be the biggest indicators of success in the workplace.

Best Traits In New Hires

Trait 1 – Curiosity: I can’t stress enough how critical an element of curiosity is in a new hire. At the interview stage, you may only be able to base this on whether they have questions for you. But, wider indications of curiosity can be found in their body language, and an overall curious mindset that comes through their application and personal profile.

This matters because it’s the force that pushes your hire through the more mundane elements of their position. A naturally curious candidate finds interest in the small things and is adamant that they have to get to the bottom of a problem. They will ask more questions and feel more invested in the business overall. 

Trait 2 – Resilience: I read recently that the average job tenure is decreasing globally. Now, of course there are a whole variety of factors that influence people’s decision to leave a position, but there’s no doubt that an ability to knuckle down and work through the tough stuff will play a part in this trend at some point. 

It may be the case that a stress-free workplace is becoming more of a demand than a luxury right now, but having a resilience that gets your candidates across the finish line in turbulent circumstances is an awesome trait to hold. You’ll gain an understanding of the resilience of a candidate in the stories they tell you about their previous experiences, and you should consider candidates who have a demonstrated ability to bounce back from failure or setbacks, as they show that they can adapt to change, maintain a positive attitude, and persevere through challenges.

Trait 3 – Cultural Intelligence: Dubai is a cultural crossroads, and there’s no room for ignorance toward other faiths and cultures. This trait will show very naturally when you have a diverse team (which you almost definitely do in this city!)

In an increasingly diverse world, employees with cultural intelligence can effectively work with people from different backgrounds and adapt themselves with seamless fluidity to these differences. They have an awareness and appreciation of cultures, and can navigate cross-cultural interactions with sensitivity and respect. This is an enviable trait for anybody holding such a skill. 

Trait 4 – Empathy: If you want to build a great team, it needs to be built on empathy. Empathetic individuals can understand and relate to the feelings and perspectives of others, making them attentive listeners who know how to collaborate with their teammates naturally.

Ask a couple of questions in your candidate interview about what empathy means to them, and observe how naturally they are able to answer. Empathetic people know how to read a room, take and listen to social cues, and know how, when and where to demonstrate their emotional intelligence.

Trait 5 – Cultural Fit: As important as any of the above factors is how your new hire fits your company culture. You should be aware as a decision maker in your business that you could tick all of the above boxes, but if they don’t gel with what you’re working towards in the future, you could potentially undo all of the work you have already done. 

Consider whether candidates align with the values, mission, and culture of your organization. Look for individuals who demonstrate a passion for the industry, share common goals, and will thrive in your work environment.

Recruiting New Hires

Recruiting your next team member shouldn’t be approached as a box-ticking exercise. To effectively fill your available positions, you should look to strike the right balance between the candidate’s core competencies, and these alternative traits to take the success of your new hire even further.