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Hiring: What to Look for in Your Next Employee

Perfect Candidate jigsaw piece fitting into open position jigsaw

Nicole Doughton Recruiting Tips, CVs & Interviews

When it comes to recruiting a new member of your team, you will have certain expectations about their skill level, experience and knowledge, which are clearly outlined in the job description you put together.

However, there are other qualities that are important for ensuring new employees will fit well into your business. Some of these attributes you may be able to glean from a CV if you know what you are looking for, while other factors can be determined at the face-to-face interview.

Here are our top tips of things to look for in your next employee.


Interpersonal skills

Will they fit in with the culture of your business?

In the modern workplace, it is vital your employees have transferable skills that will help them drive your business forward. While it is very important to have technical skills and solid experience in the industry, you should also look for core skills that can be applied to their role. This strong attribute enables them to fit into the team, listen to advice and pass on information.

This is just as important for you, as it is for the employee. In a strong team, not all employees will be the same, but they should be comfortable in their working environment. A candidate with good interpersonal skills will be able to interact with colleagues and clients, helping them to fit in quickly.

In the recruiting process, reflect on their ability to communicate effectively. Look at how they would share ideas, engage in meetings and manage disputes. Do they understand your business aims or the mindset of your clients? If the ‘perfect candidate’ is a bad match for the atmosphere of your business, consider if you are willing to adapt before hiring. 


Company loyalty

Will they still be with you in 5 years?

Loyalty saves you from investing in the recruitment process again, but it also builds a sense of belonging for an employee. You want a candidate who is dedicated to your company and who will be there for the long term. You want someone who will grow in their role and to your business, to help you deliver on future goals. Their CV is a good place to start. Holding positions in companies for more than 2 years is a good sign that they are loyal.

However, also keep in mind their progression within those roles. Have they taken on big projects or been promoted? This shows they have put time into their previous company and their hard work has paid off. This gives you faith they will be keen to succeed and develop your business.  


Ideas and passion

Hiring a new team member is a chance to bring fresh ideas and innovation into your company. While you do need to explore what they have done in the past, it is also important to find out what they can do for you in the future. Tailor some of your questions around problem-solving and finding solutions to test their critical thinking and inventiveness. Ask them what they think they can do for your company. This shows they have done their research and thought about their potential role and contribution.


Attention to detail

Being organised is another core skill. This includes being able to manage their time properly and do thorough in-depth research. This can usually be demonstrated at an interview through promptness and attention to detail within their CV or cover letter.

Having a good eye for detail is important for most roles: being able to spot the small errors that could lead to big problems; being able to implement new protocols with precision, and being able to spot trends during analysis.

In roles where attention to details is critical, especially in tight deadlines, consider setting a task to assess their ability to accurately complete jobs within a given time frame. This may include a presentation or a short report which they hand over at the interview. Comparing these results between candidates can narrow down which candidate is naturally suited to your role.


Knowledge of the industry

The IT industry is very fast-moving. Things change quickly, particularly with regards to new technologies and software solutions. You want an employee who understands the current state of the industry, what tech is up-and-coming and how it could be implemented.

One way that you could assess this is to see if they get involved in any local user groups, as this shows a keen interest in the industry as well as personal development. They may also attend tech conferences, hackathons or be active on specific tech forums like Stack Overflow and GitHub.  When information is lacking, these candidates would do their research and readily share resources within the business.



Find out how you work with their life plans.

A good candidate will often have a very clear path of where they see their career going. This is especially true in the IT industry. They will have a plan to take them from their current position and towards their eventual end game. They might have specific goals they want to achieve along the way, and they see your company as a great opportunity to meet these goals.

This kind of goal-orientated approach often means they are very motivated and willing to work hard. If they are given the right role, they will often excel at, or exceed, the requirements. Being self-directed is a real asset, as this clear vision often translates into the ability to work independently and confidently.


Do not pick the best of a bad bunch

Finding the perfect candidate for your industry, your office environment and your company ethics should not be a quick fix. Make sure you get a clear representation of the candidates available. Expecting the best candidates to come to you may leave you selecting a candidate which is a bad match.


If you are looking for new talent to join your team, get in touch to find out how Spectrum IT Recruitment can help you with the recruitment process. We specialise in recruiting IT professionals and have the expertise to find you a strong selection of candidates to meet your requirements.