Often when I get the chance to speak to a group of students, someone invariably asks me to describe the ideal employee. What are the traits of a prospective new hire that I look for, and would give them the best chance of success?
In the book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni, he describes the ideal team player as Hungry, Humble and Smart. That’s my North Star when hiring people. I’m sure that these traits are critical in any organization of any size, but they are particularly important in early-stage companies when every hire has an oversized impact on the company’s performance and culture.
It’s worth spending some time on this concept. Too many hiring managers are focused on specific skills and past accomplishments at the expense of these core characteristics, I’ve seen far too many times that oversight results in failure and a far-reaching impact on the organization.