We all know the drill. There’s a small stack of hand-picked résumés and a little time to spend with each candidate to determine who is best for the position. Some of the candidates will eliminate themselves by being late, disorganized, unprepared or simply uninterested. But what stands out about the keepers? Which qualities are rare and make us want to hire them?
1. A strong relationship with a mentor.
Part of being a self-starter and a problem solver is knowing where to turn for answers. Isn’t it a pleasant surprise when a new employee has the wherewithal to find their own answers? That simple determination to remove their own roadblocks inevitably leads to getting more done in a day. This is the employee who handles tough situations in a professional manner because they were given advice from a veteran. They finish projects and move on to others without being asked. From a hiring standpoint, not enough managers ask candidates if they have a strong relationship with a mentor, which is slightly different than just asking them if they have a mentor. A candidate who is paying attention might say they have a mentor when asked if they have one. But chances are, if you ask a candidate if they have a strong relationship with a mentor, they'll only say yes if it's true. You might ask this question 100 times in interviews before you get a “yes” but when you do, it’s a home run
2. Confidence during a challenge.
Learning something new, especially for a job, can test our boundaries. When it takes several tries to get it right, frustration can get in the way. The professional mindset that a hiring manager is hunting for is the ability to keep calm and find the solution instead of giving in to their temper or discouragement. You might call this a soft skill. Scratch that. It’s more than a soft skill. It’s a virtue. What’s more important is how contagious this attitude can be. You’ve seen the employee who politely smiles when the challenge is serious. They don’t panic. Other employees notice that and often follow their lead. Indeed, the employee who demonstrates confidence during a true challenge almost always turns out to be a leader. Find evidence of this quality during an interview and you'll probably be making an offer before the end of the day.
3. Genuine appreciation for the job.
“Entitlement” is a buzzword nowadays. It seems like there are more and more people who feel the world owes them something. They're not very hard to spot. But there is another group of people who see getting an education and a real career as a dream come true. For them, a career in healthcare means a new kind of independence and a new life for their family. Employees who genuinely appreciate their job show up early. They’re the ones who plan ahead for traffic jams and car trouble. They’d rather be to work early and earn a few brownie points than show up late with an excuse. These are the people with two alarm clocks and thank the manager when they give advice that will help them do their job better. This ilk of employee doesn’t grumble, complain to other employees or quit at the drop of a hat. They also tend to stay away from gossip and office drama. This quality is pretty easy to detect during an interview and gets an easy gold star; a callback every time.
4. A positive attitude.
“Genuine appreciation for the job” leads right into “a positive attitude,” but they are separate. Being thankful for a job is one thing. Having a good attitude on a regular basis is something else. Admittedly, someone who is obnoxiously happy can be a turnoff, but for the most part a sunny disposition is a welcome attitude to bring into the office every day. What really stands out are the people who have a consistently positive attitude in the face of a tough home life or family life. Some people provide care for someone in the family with medical issues or maybe they’re supporting seven kids on their own. By all means, employers want to give opportunities to people who need to be the breadwinner. But when those people show up to work with a smile on their face and encouraging words for their coworkers—that’s downright admirable. You might uncover this quality in a candidate’s recommendations and references. Two thumbs up for a consistent, positive attitude.
5. A desire to learn more.
Career advancement is part of what motivates an employee to pay attention and soak up information like a sponge. Sometimes there’s a real interest in the career field and maybe even a desire to become a true expert. All of those desires make for a great employee. For daily office life, this quality translates into a person who asks a lot of questions (which takes some getting used to). But as they learn more, they are able to handle more responsibilities. These are the people you can eventually put in charge when you leave the office for a few hours. They tend to tackle learning all of the tasks for a certain responsibility and when they’ve mastered it, they naturally gravitate to the next learning opportunity. Future managers start out as inquisitive new employees.
We think you'll agree these five qualities are ideal for a new hire. If only every employee could check off all of these boxes. Maybe you're curious about what Ultimate Medical Academy does to prepare graduates to become ideal employees. Or perhaps you’re interested in finding a current UMA student who’s ready for a non-paid externship so you can get some help in the day-to-day operations of your business. Get more info at HireUMA.com.