Top 10 Qualities of a Good Employee

qualities of a good employee

I was a number 1 recruiter for 5 years recruiting hundreds of trainers for national training projects and I certainly know what a perfect candidate looks like but what about the qualities of a good employee? Did you know that hiring managers have their wish list of particular qualities of a good employee when considering who will be an asset to their team?

A perfect candidate is:

  • polished and professional
  • has a brilliant resume
  • has a great Linkedin profile that shines personal brand
  • is articulate about their work experience who will interview well
  • has the skills and expertise to match the role
Your ultimate aim when you start to look for a new role is to be the perfect candidate.
Being a perfect candidate and helping the recruiters find you are the secret to getting your next role.
If you are the perfect candidate and recruiters can find you, then you will get put forward for more interviews and have a more significant chance of getting the job you want.
Why? It’s because you are making the recruiter’s job easy for them.
Recruiters are busy, and they want to find you quickly, send you for an interview, place you in your new position and move on!
Recruiters are usually juggling lots of live vacancies and only have time to deal with perfect candidates. So if you’re wondering why you’re not getting called to go for an interview, it’s because you are not the perfect candidate.

Here’s some help to become a perfect candidate and get noticed by recruiters:

Similarly, hiring managers have their wish list of particular qualities of a good employee when considering who will be an asset to their team.

I’ve mentioned how important it is for you to be an excellent cultural fit for an employer and how the language you use in your resume, your Linkedin profile and at interview can show recruiters and hiring managers that you speak the same language as them. Mirroring their language will show them that you fit in with their companies values and team work ethics.

Hiring managers at interview are also identifying if you have the qualities of a good employee.

You need to be aware of all of these when you are preparing for an interview and crafting your interview answers.

Here are the top 10 qualities of a good employee:

1) A positive attitude

You bring your attitude to work every day and this is a hard one to fake. It’s not just about having a “can do” attitude although that is a big part of it. It’s also about how you interact with others in the workplace and view your company, your managers and your fellow colleagues.

2) A reliable and trustworthy person

Getting things done is one thing but can others rely on you to deliver and can they trust you to take ownership of your responsibilities and the responsibilities of your team? Can you be trusted to always do the right thing?

3) Act on your own initiative

Will you be able to get on with the job, make decisions and perform without the help of your manager or co-workers?

4) Work under pressure

Many of the interview questions these days stress test you. “Tell me about a time when you had to challenge someone at work and what was the outcome”. Questions like this are designed so the interviewer can identify if you will work well under pressure and still communicate effectively.

5) Adapt to change

Work environments are forever evolving and particularly in the digital age, the pace of change is increasing. Not only can we work faster due to technology but technology can disrupt industries, markets and companies. Companies that were once pretty stable often have to change their strategy to compete and stay relevant. Employers want to know if they employ you, will be able to deal with change in a positive way and be flexible.

6) Learn new skills

In a changing work environment, you are likely to have to change roles and responsibilities more often. You need to be able to learn new skills to make you a flexible worker.

7) Improve the status quo

What will you bring to the party that will add value and improve their current team? Once you identify this you should emphasise this at interview. Do you always look to improve your work and help those around you to improve theirs? Do you look to improve work processes that could be better? It’s healthy to challenge the status quo. If it can be done better then shout up. Coming up with fresh ideas and being brave to voice them and encourage change is the sign of an exceptional employee.

8) Ask questions and don’t assume things

Asking questions isn’t a sign of weakness it’s a way of getting clarity to make the right decisions and take the right course of action. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions as it will help you to be engaged with important issues and will provide transparency for the direction of you and your teammates.

9) Work outside of their job description

Doing your job is essential, but great employees will happily dip into solving problems for teammates and colleagues when the need arises.

10) Coach others

If you step in to coach your co-workers and support your teammates then you have the qualities of a good worker. Helping others to improve their skills is also one of the natural ways to shine at work and prove that you are a subject matter expert. You’ll not just be recognised by your teammates but by your boss too and maybe your bosses boss! It’s a great way to get noticed at work!

Further reading

I encourage you to read this Linkedin article by Jeffrey Towson, a professor at Peking University, a writer and Linkedin “Top Voice” who shares advice Warren Buffett, the 3rd richest man in the world, successful investor, and philanthropist gave to him about the importance of becoming the best version of yourself.

Warren Buffett asked the question:

  • If you could invest in only one of your fellow classmates, who would you choose?

It’s a beautiful read and illustrates that personal qualities like the qualities of a good employee are ones that are highest in value.

Here are some blog posts to help you get your next job:

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Are you a good employee?

Top 10 Qualities of a Good Employee

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