Companies across the United States are not just hiring “warm bodies” anymore.  They are looking for the right people with the right personalities for their culture.  They are looking not only for those who have the skills but have the intangible qualities to positively impact and interact within the culture.  These are the people who are getting hired.

I recently read an article “8 Qualities of Remarkable Employees”.  The article has been shared on many, many websites, but the content was actually written by Jeff  Haden for Inc.   In this article, Mr. Haden listed 8 qualities, but as the article has been shared, qualities have been added and subtracted.

I have read and re-read this article, because I believe that it is one of the few out there that will “tell it straight”.  It highlights the fact that getting a keeping a job is not all about GPA or degrees or years of experience.  Those things do matter, but it is the intangible qualities – positive attitude, thinking “outside the box”, getting along well with others – that will make or break you.  So I have decided to throw my hat into the ring, and talk about the 3 intangible qualities that I think all workers need to hone and bring every day to their place of business:

  •  Adaptability – in today’s lean business environment, it is important for employees to think on their feet and adapt.  Priorities change, business lines grow and contract, markets appear and disappear.  Successful employees adapt to change and navigate that change with a positive attitude.  They do what is needed to be done, even if it is something that most consider beneath them.  Great workers are willing to take the trash out, because, well, that is what is needed to be done.
  •  A little bit “off” – I like to think that we are all a little bit “off” in our own different way, but the best employees are different.  Now, I do not mean different in the fact that they wear lettuce leaves as part of their business attire, but just different.  They see the world in a different way; they have a different perspective…a different viewpoint….and a different approach to the world.  Workgroups who consist of different employee types come up with revolutionary ideas, design cutting edge products and stretch the abilities of each other in ways that groups who consist of homogeneous members just cannot.  Great workers listen to other’s ideas and strive to see them for what they are….different ways to look at the same problem.
  •  Works well with others – hand in hand with being a little bit “off” comes the ability to work together with different people.  Homogeneous work groups get the job done quicker and easier, but in most cases they do not produce the best product or service or process.  This is because they do not spend the time analyzing the situation from all viewpoints.  The ability to work together with people who are different from you – in perspective, viewpoints and problem-solving methodologies – is a coveted intangible.  Being able to truly understand others vs. being chagrined at different clothing styles is what makes work teams successful.  Great employees do not focus on the artificial and unimportant; they train themselves to “scratch beneath the surface” and truly focus on the message, the intent and reasoning behind the message.

The job market is competitive.  Approximately 10,000 new workers enter the job market every month, competing with you for the best jobs at the best companies.   I encourage all of you to click read “8 Qualities of Remarkable Employees” and take some time to think of how you can demonstrate these qualities during your next interview.  Can you share a story that shows how you work together well on diverse, cross-functional teams?  Can you share a story of how to can adapt to changing business conditions and hit all your performance goals at the same time?

Take a few minutes to jot some notes down, and if you need more insight or guidance, please visit our Snelling Candidate Resource Hub on our website.  Here you can find all kinds of information on job interviews, resume presentation and writing, integrating social media into your job search, and general career strategy advice.  Remember, Snelling has had over 60 years of experience helping candidates find their best-fit job; we are here to leverage our experience to help you succeed