6 Traits of A-Level Candidates (and Great Employees)

Every Animal Health and Veterinary organization wants to hire A-level candidates. They also want to have great employees. As you can imagine, the two go hand-in-hand. If you routinely hire A-level candidates, then you’re  likely going to have great employees.

But as you well know, not every organization is able to hire A-level candidates. There are a number of reasons that they don’t, including the availability of such candidates and the ability of the organization to successfully recruit them.

However, there’s another factor, as well, which is the ability to recognize these candidates.

Recognizing A-level candidates is about more than just skills and experience. It involves other characteristics and traits, as well. These characteristics and traits are sometimes not readily noticeable on a resume. But if you’re able to recognize them, during the face-to-face interview or any other part of the hiring process, then you increase the chances that you’ll be able to hire more effectively and improve your workforce.

A matter of hiring AND retention

The good news is that you won’t just improve your workforce through better hiring, but you’ll improve it through better rates of retention, as well. That’s because once you recognize your really great employees, you’ll make more of a concerted effort to keep those employees. Or at least, you should make more of an effort to keep them, especially if you realize that they’re more valuable than you initially thought.

So let’s “cut to the chase,” as they say. Below are six traits or characteristics of A-level candidates (and great employees):

#1—Their ego is not a priority.

Just about everyone has an ego, especially top candidates and top employees. But who is ultimately in control—them . . . or their ego? If they make their ego a priority, it can get in the way. On the other hand, if they’re able to keep their ego in check and put other, more important priorities ahead of it, then they can make much better decisions. A talented individual who can control their ego is more valuable than a talented individual who can’t.

#2—They don’t allow fear to rule their decisions.

These candidates and employees remain rational and they don’t panic. They also are willing to take chances, even if there’s a measure of risk involved, calculated or otherwise. As a general rule, people who are willing to take risks are more successful in their career than those who are not willing to do so. Those who allow fear to rule their decisions, can become “paralyzed” and unable to make the tough choices that are often necessary for success.

#3—They can diffuse difficult people and difficult situations.

Unfortunately, most organization contain difficult people, although the degree to which they’re difficult varies. Some people are easier to work with than others. That’s why candidates and employees who can successfully navigate difficult situations are so valuable. This is where emotional intelligence enters the picture. Those individuals who are proficient in this area are better able to assess and successfully handle situations such as these.

#4—They’re intrinsically motivated (they never “coast”).

National Basketball Association legend Larry Bird once said that he was only satisfied for a period of three weeks during his Hall of Fame career: one week following each of the three championships that he won. A-level candidates and great employees are never satisfied. They’re always looking for ways to get better and for ways to achieve more. They view success as a reason to exert more effort, not less effort. That explains why they excel when others fall short.

#5—They hold themselves accountable.

In other words, these people don’t make excuses or blame other people when things go wrong. They take responsibility for what they’ve done (or what they haven’t done). In fact, when they’re working in a group, they’re prone to taking responsibility for things that aren’t even their fault. That’s the sign of a leader, someone who puts the well-being of the group ahead of how they’re viewed. That’s not to say that they “beat themselves up” over every mistake, but they recognize that results are the bottom line in every department and within every organization.

#5—They are problem solvers (not problem creators).

Solving problems is the bottom line, is it not? That’s why you hire people in the first place, because you believe that they can solve a problem that the organization has. (Ideally, you’d like them to solve the problem or problems exceptionally well.) These are the types of people who are able to analyze a situation and prevent problems from even occurring in the first place. That’s when you know that you have real value.

Improve the quality of your hires

When you’re looking to find suitable candidates for your organization’s open positions, do you screen them with these traits and characteristics in mind? Or do you simply focus on skills and experience to the exclusion of all other considerations? Evaluating candidates in a comprehensive manner is key to ensuring that you hire the right ones. Even when you hire a candidate who has a lot of talent and tons of experience, it does not guarantee an A-level hire. It doesn’t even guarantee a good fit.

That’s why partnering with a search consultant can help to improve the quality of your hires. Good search consultants (Animal Health Recruiters and Veterinary Recruiters) have experience assessing and evaluating candidates, including in terms of the traits outlined above. Hiring the right person is about more than just hard skills and experience. It’s also about soft skills and transferrable soft skill, including emotional intelligence.

Improve the quality of your hires in 2018. The VET Recruiter has more than 20 years of experience identifying and recruiting professionals who possess all of the characteristics necessary to transform your organization and the way it does business.

Don’t settle for candidates who don’t measure up for one reason or another. Hire the best, and once you’ve done that, make sure that you do everything you can to keep them.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.