The 5 not-so-obvious common traits in the best hires

By Guest Author|21st Sep 2014
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The human side of business fascinates me. HR has naturally been the function I have enjoyed the most as an entrepreneur. The task of building the best team at Gozoop (read about the acquisitions they've made) requires for me to meet at least 10-20 people in a week through the recruitment process. There is something very fascinating about understanding the passions, motivations and dreams of individuals from different backgrounds. The world is indeed rich in diversity!

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I take great pride in the team that we’ve built at Gozoop. We have been extremely fortunate with the quality of individuals who have chosen to spend the best years of their working lives at Gozoop.

In a meeting with my HR team, we were casually discussing the common traits in some of our best hires. As a derivative of our focus on character before talent, characteristics such as loyalty, integrity, honesty, etc. came out highlighted in our top hires. But I knew it wasn’t that simple since these qualities are in abundance amongst the larger portion of my team anyway. There had to be something beyond these inherent characteristics!

I listed down my 20 Best Hires – no easy task. I define Best Hires as those individuals who play a critical role in ensuring the long-term success of a business. They may or may not be the rock stars of your team but they are absolutely vital for your long-term story. They are your core.

Having compiled the list in excel, I started jotting things about them – their family backgrounds, financial backgrounds, social characteristics, motivations, etc.

Best Hires are often more Introverted than Extroverted

2 out of every 3 individuals on the Best Hire List were introverts. I think the reason why introverts make better hires is that they think more than they speak. Introverts analyze their thoughts and ideas internally and speak only once they are convinced and confident of a certain solution. It is this introspection that perhaps leads to better leadership and decision-making.

Best Hires feel they are not doing enough

A gleaming theme was that Best Hires feel they are not doing enough. One instance that comes to my mind is when post an appraisal, one of my employees felt uncomfortable, believing she didn’t deserve such a strong appraisal. She told me about this when the pressure started affecting her work. Truth is, she more than deserved the appraisal. Her selfless dedication and contribution played and continues to play a big role in shaping Gozoop.

Best Hires are more Conservative than they are Aggressive

3 out of every 5 individuals on the Best Hires List was more conservative than aggressive. I would even go on to say that few on the list lived in a state of constant paranoia – always thinking about what could go wrong. Perhaps this very state helps them to plan better ahead. There is a great quote by Freed Adler - “In business paranoia is not a psychosis, it’s a reality; it’s probably survival. People who are unafraid scare me; they make me afraid”

Best Hires are not glamour hungry

The most prominent undertone of the entire list was that none of the Individuals were glamour hungry. Of course they all liked a good word here and there but none are feverish about getting credit. In most cases they would always pass on the credit to the team that worked under them.

Best Hires love the Company, Founders and the Team more than anything

This is not to say that the Best Hires don’t love their job. In terms of priority, however, their loyalty and affinity first lies towards the company, the founders and the team. I know for sure that some of these individuals’ jobs are more utilitarian than fancy. What keeps most of the Best Hires ticking is the success of the company and they are ready to play whatever role they have to – from mundane to path breaking – to boost this.

You hear so many people say “I love my job” or “I love what I do”. As an entrepreneur or an HR Manager, perhaps what you really want to hear is “I love the company I work for” or “I love the team I work with”.

Now none of the above points can be taken as absolutes. Different people add value to different roles. Diversity is what makes a team complete. We have some amazing, Aggressive Extroverts who absolutely kill it everyday. It would, however, be interesting for you as an entrepreneur or an HR Manager to run a similar exercise to find out the not so obvious traits in your Best Hires.

About the Author :

Rohan Bhansali is the founder of Gozoop, a global digital services and products company. Rohan has a keen interest in the human side of business and loves helping entrepreneurs bootstrap their startups. He can be reached at @RohanBhansali99.

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