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The Voice of Startups Everywhere Else

8 Qualities to Look for in Your Newest Team Member

Question: As an employer, what ONE quality do you look for in every team member you hire and why?

Work Ethic

“You can be the smartest and most technically gifted candidate that I’ve ever met, but if I can’t detect that you’ll do whatever it takes to succeed in your job and help drive the organization’s growth, I probably won’t take a chance on you. Self-starters with indisputably strong work ethics are almost always a safe investment.”

Alexandra Levit, Inspiration at Work

Motivation

“Intrinsic motivation is key. You can see this materialize on a resume in the form of side projects and challenging hobbies. Things like this indicate that the applicant prefers to spend her time deeply engaged in challenging activities.”

Robert J Moore, RJMetrics

A Chip on Their Shoulder

“Finding that daily motivation to keep driving forward can be a challenge. That’s why I always like to find what is driving a potential team member — the “chip on their shoulder” is the way I describe it. I look for employees who are internally driven and have something they are pushing toward. I want to know what motivates them — and help them channel that drive.”

Eric Koester, DCI

A Willingness to Get Personal

“I like to get to know the person we’ll be spending hours of time with, including what motivates her, how she spends her time outside of work and what her priorities in life are. I ask questions about hobbies, family and favorites in interviews to get to know them. “

Shradha Agarwal, ContextMedia

Love

“We hire based on an individual’s ability to both give and receive love. It sounds hippie-dippy, but in reality, individuals who can approach loving and being loved by our family are also individuals who are self-actualized, ambitious, addicted to growing and willing and able to learn. They also love to matter, which translates to doing an exceptional job. “

Corey Blake, Round Table Companies

A Desire to Learn

“A team member’s desire to learn fuels collaboration and motivates each member to become better in his craft. At some point, everyone gets to be the teacher and the student. This chemistry sparks great conversations, and constant sharing of knowledge builds stronger, closer teams that trust each other.”

Bobby Emamian, Prolific Interactive

Empathy

“We require everyone on our team (marketing, engineering, design) to do customer support, which requires everyone to have empathy. Being able to relate to our customers on a personal level makes it easy to make the right choices when doing product development or marketing.”

Wade Foster, Zapier

Passion

“Passion is what I look for in every single person I hire. It’s very important that my team members are passionate about what they do and can transfer that energy into their work. Hiring a person who is passionate means the candidate will go above and beyond expectations and truly want to help Come Recommended be the best agency it can possibly be. Skills can be taught but passion cannot!”

Heather Huhman, Come Recommended

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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