What qualities do you look for in a new employee?

So much time is required to focus on a new employee and you want to make the right choice. The last thing you want is to repeat the process too often.

When looking for a new employee, what is the one quality you look for which is non negotiable?

Top voted answer
Charlene Sampilo

Charlene Sampilo, Customer Service at Nervana Chiropractic

Although we have to admit that there is no "perfect" employee, but I believe I would want someone who has good work ethics and character. I always say this -- skills are learned, but a person's integrity and work attitude sets him apart from the others. 

Leo Eliades

Leo Eliades at

Hi Charlene, thank you for your reply. Work ethic gets close to a great employee, I agree. I must admit integrity has served well in the past and I like the way you compare the learned vs the character.

Thang Do

Thang Do, Project Intern at SavvySME

Hi Charlene and Leo, if attitude is one of the most important factors to distinguish a good potential candidate from a bad one, what would help you to validate such attribute? Would recommendation from previous employers help? or would face-to-face interview help?

Lisa Ormenyessy

Lisa Ormenyessy, Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at

I would have to agree with Charlene.  You can teach skills however attitude is way more difficult.

Leo Eliades

Leo Eliades at

thank you kindly Lisa

Iain Dooley

Iain Dooley, Owner at The Procedure People

The ability to read and correctly follow instructions, and craft intelligent questions, are basically the only things I look for no matter who I'm hiring.

In fact my induction process is self-selecting in this regard: when I hire someone I send them a page in our online documentation that has all the info they'll need to do their job.

If they can't read through it and start work without asking questions (well, maybe if they're GOOD questions) or -- worst of all -- requesting that we jump on Skype/the phone to "go through things", they're not my kind of employee :)

Mary Mai

Mary Mai, Business Intelligence Analyst at Savvysme

I was wondering how businesses liked to check a person's attitude and why they choose the method they do - With personality tests - Seeing their performance under tests by assessment centres - In an interview - Through a third party referral such as an employee or their previous employer