7 Attributes That Actually Matter When Hiring Talent

The SkillGigs platform is a powerful tool in HR Technology, but it can never replace the most important part of hiring – the talent. While we generate the custom curated matches, introduce the 3D resume to tech professionals & foster relationships with the highest caliber talent in the country, there’s one job left to do – review your candidates for culture and personality fit.

Company culture comes in a mishmash of sorts and while our talent comes ready to work, you undoubtedly need to have at least one conversation with them before an initial offer.

According to PayPal’s CEO, Dan Schulman, he specifically seeks talent that have experienced great failure. Claiming that this question determines an ability to respond and respond well, it got me thinking – what actually matters about the talent when you first meet them?

Here are my 7 attributes to seek in talent:

  1. First and foremost: Skills. If you’re using SkillGigs, this takes care of itself when you meet the talent, but I felt obligated to cover all the bases – the talent obviously needs the basic technical skillsets required for the position you are hiring for.
  2. Communication abilities: Talent can’t mean anything if an individual can’t explain their findings, occurrences & insights. Too often, I have met highly intelligent individuals who lack an ability to share their knowledge within their position. We work in a collaborative world & if you find that your candidate can’t easily and efficiently explain their experience, then that’s a hint they lack communication abilities.
  3. Honesty: During a time when millennials are changing jobs every 6 months and companies are forced to lay off highly skilled individuals, talent has unsurprisingly become less loyal to their employers. While you can only do so much to make your talent feel secure in their position, it’s critical to seek people that can inherently be honest with you. While this may be the hardest attribute to find, it may be the most important. My advice for determining honesty is to ask questions about how the candidate either plans to or has left their last position. People that don’t respect the 2-week notice or have exhausted using excuses to miss work will no doubt be the ones that you can’t trust as easily.
  4. Concern for time: I will always claim this attribute to be a timeless quality all successful professionals should possess. Aside from the obvious convenience of being able to start tasks on time, concern for time means that the talent respects their colleagues enough to work within a schedule and do their part. While timeliness to the interview will be your first indicator if the candidate possesses this attribute, you can also assign certain evaluations and assessments to the candidate to see when they complete them and in what time frame.
  5. Experience working within difficult situations: Similar to what PayPal’s CEO, Dan Schulman, said – it’s important to work with someone who hasn’t had it easy their entire career. We don’t live in a world where everything can go well all the time! You want to know your talent has had experiences working in difficult situations and understand how they reacted. Review their negative experiences in the interview and listen for how they responded. If they explain they did something that you would do, then you have probably found your match!
  6. Adaptability: This could not be more straightforward. Nothing ever goes exactly according to plan and you need to make sure your talent is aware and accepting of this. People change positions, tasks re-arrange, priorities are re-assigned. Within tech especially, if you can’t adapt and change with the innovation, then you’re out. Prime example of how to determine a candidate’s adaptability is to ask about their experience using specific tools you require and ask questions about their learning curve. How do they approach working with new tools?
  7. Sense of priority: I like to tackle my job from a priority standpoint. What do I want to accomplish today and how does that interact with specific deadlines the team and I have set? Everyone is busy and you certainly don’t want to micromanage your talent. Questions about their organizational skills would be highly useful to determine this attribute.

It’s fairly simple to understand skill density, but we understand communicating with the talent is an interpersonal communication piece you genuinely need to feel and hear for yourself. Human interaction can never be replaced, which is why the 7 attributes mentioned are so important to be aware of. If ever at a cross roads for determining what to look for in talent’s personality – feel free to refer to these qualities.