8 Traits To Look For When Hiring a New Team Member/Employee

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Last Updated on November 20, 2023 by Bill Truby

While conducting an Ethics training recently, I made the point, “If two people aren’t matched in their ethics, the relationship won’t last.”

I gave illustrations about employees and/or leaders who have left companies because their personal ethics didn’t align with the company ethics.

I also used the illustration of a marriage. Counselors will tell young couples that they must discuss their ethical beliefs and perspectives in the following five areas: Money, Religion, In-Laws, Children, and Sex. If there is a significant difference in ethics and beliefs in any of these areas, the relationship may not be sustainable.

This led to a question from one of the participants, “Bill, are there specific categories I should look for when hiring to ensure we have aligned ethics, values, and beliefs?”

My answer was quick and clear. “Yes,” I responded. “You want to ask questions regarding the following categories to explore ethical compatibility.”

  1. Bonding – Is the person willing to bond and be a part of a team or company? Or are they just looking for a job and more individual-focused.
  2. Agreements – Does the person see the value of “team attributes” or “team rules” and willing to be a part of that community? Or are they more micro-focused with a “just tell me what to do” attitude.
  3. Structure – Is the person willing to “own” a role and take initiative within the expectations of that role? Or, are they just wanting to come to work and just do their job with no vested interest in the role. In other words, “employee minded” individuals constantly have to be managed. “Ownership minded” individuals, even if it’s a sense of ownership and pride in a role or a project, tend to take more initiative.
  4. Expectations – Is the person willing to communicate to closure regarding expectations – both yours AND theirs. Outcomes can only be as good as the communication surrounding those expected outcomes.
  5. Value – Is the person willing to buy-in to the purpose of the company or team, the “value” delivered? (Note: Our Truby Management System delivers a “value” embedded in the product or service delivered. It’s what makes the company or team’s deliverable unique and compelling). Aligning with a “value” affects how an individual works, and even how they communicate with each other and a customer.
  6. Goals – Is the person willing to work WITH the team to achieve team goals? Or are they just wanting to do THEIR job and stay with that limited mindset.
  7. Systems – Is the person willing to align with the team and company’s way of doing things? Instead of being a maverick and have the attitude of “well, in my other company we did it this way and I like that better!”
  8. Improvement – Is the person willing to receive feedback and suggestions for improvement? An attitude of continuous improvement and learning is critical to each employee – indeed, the entire enterprise.

Undoubtedly, you noticed a theme here…you are attempting to discern whether the person is employee-minded, task-based, and narrow-cited, as compared to team-based, vision/mission driven, and efficiency-oriented.

The eight categories match the 8-steps in our Truby Management System that transforms people into a high-performing team, then organizes, mobilizes and optimizes that team to achieve stellar results. These ALSO represent the categories you can potentially have problems with an individual who isn’t aligned with a give initiative or step. Thus, asking questions in the above categories can reveal a mismatch in ethics or perspective BEFORE you have to put up with it in negative behavior after the hire.

Note: We also have an article that gives you questions to ask in a hiring interview. This article reveals an important point – how people think is more powerful than what they say they have done. The questions in this article are magical in their ability to discern how a person will think and process issues when they join your company. AND…the candidate can’t prepare for THESE questions (smile). Check them out here: (Effective Hiring)

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Bill Truby

Founder and President of Truby Achievements