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7 Qualities That All High-Performing Employees Share

Regardless of your business sector, whether you're in hospitality, supply chain, manufacturing or trades and services, it's essential that you hire individuals into your team who will thrive, which in turn enables your business to grow.

The ‘right’ hire can make all the difference. Simply hiring a person whose not quite what you're looking for can be harmful to your team and ultimately your success.

Hiring the wrong person can have a significant impact on your business, with some sources stating that the cost of a bad hire can be as much as 2.5 times their equivalent annual salary. Yes you have read that right!

No small business can continuously sustain that kind of cost over a long period. In an ideal world, you will make the best hire the first time around – every time. Unfortunately, in real life, it’s not as simple as that.

But as a manager or business owner, there are ways that you can mitigate hiring problems and challenges in your business. High on the list is only hiring individuals with certain high-performing skills.

Below we share the 7 top qualities to look out for in your candidates – and strive to hire employees with these attributes to attract the success you want for your business.

A Great Communicator

Communication is the number one attribute all great employees have; possessing great skills is one thing though not being able to communicate effectively with your team stops everything in its tracks.

In any organisation, no matter how small, the way employees interact with each other is the key to a successful team, and this has only been increased in our new physically distanced world.

Since the rise in remote working, possessing excellent communication skills has never been more critical. Sending an unclear email or miscommunicating a message over messenger bots or on the phone can cause all manner of problems for the entire team.

The most successful teams are full of great communicators – so look for this attribute as something which is just as essential as the hard technical skills in your recruitment process.


In a busy fasted paced work environment you need a team who can work independently outside of the initial onboarding period. Your employees need to be able to manage time effectively, balance their workload and ensure that deadlines are met.

Autonomy is a contributing factor to high engagement, productivity and work satisfaction – so when you employ and encourage autonomy in your team, both you and your employees will benefit.

To find out if candidates have high levels of autonomy during the recruitment process, ask them how they feel working independently and if they have experience of working on their own - particularly from home - and look out for how confidently they talk about being self-driven.

Leadership Skills

Another key trait to look out for is their leadership potential.

In our ever-changing world, you must know that your team can step up when needed. When you recruit talented individuals with leadership potential, this is a long-sighted growth strategy which can save you time and money in the future.

Leadership qualities involve a variety of soft skills including communication, confidence, delegation and being able to give and receive feedback.

A Positive Mindset 

A positive mindset is essential in all businesses; but unfortunately, it’s not something that can be taught easily.

Some individuals approach challenges with a ‘can-do’ attitude, are always able to look at the positive in a situation and can consistently bolster others - and these are the type of people you need in your business.

Individuals with a negative mindset will find it harder to thrive and move forward, as they find it challenging to see past obstacles. Unfortunately, their negativity can quickly spread and bring other members of the team down too.

The added bonus here, is that positive individuals have an ability to adapt to change with ease – this is essential if you are looking to grow the scope and resilience of your business.

A Team Player

As with a positive mindset, being a team player is a crucial trait for employees to have in our post-Covid world. Be on the lookout for employees who have plenty of experience of working as part of diverse teams, as working with lots of different people and personalities is a great way to develop the skills needed to be an excellent team player.

Team players contribute by listening to their colleagues, offering a different perspective, they help to strengthen bonds and trust within the team, and they are essential when things get tough.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotionally intelligent individuals possess the interpersonal skills needed to help your business thrive, and they do this in a few ways. Building on the great soft skills we have already mentioned in this article, employees with emotional intelligence exhibit the following:

  • Self-awareness – the ability to prioritise, manage time and resilience to stress and anxiety during busy times.

  • Self-regulatory behaviours – they are always in control of their emotions, and they are good at resolving conflict.

  • Empathy – they can understand different members of the team, which allows them to work well with everyone.

  • They can take feedback constructively – they don’t let it affect them personally, and they learn and grow from the experience.

An ideal high performing team is full of people with high emotional intelligence, and it is such a necessary trait it ranked sixth in the World Economic Forum’s list of the top 10 skills that employees will need to thrive in workplaces of the future.


And finally, since the enormous changes that have happened to our world due to the pandemic, flexibility is essential.

Never before has the skill of being able to work outside of our comfort zones been necessary. It is now essential for all employers to create a team that can pivot quickly to respond to the ever-changing needs of a post-pandemic world.

Some people are great and adapting to change, whereas others find it more challenging, and some are unwilling to try.

How have employees coped with the recent changes to our world? Have they been happy to embrace new ways of working and living? Agility comes with a growth mindset, one where employees are always looking to develop and to grow, and this is the only way continued future success is possible.


If you are looking to employ a new team member, these are the key qualities you should be on the lookout for.

For more information on how we can help you recruit the high-performing individuals you need to grow your business, get in touch with us on NZ+64 9 801 6635 or AU+61 2 7908 5388 or email me directly at 

We’re recruiting for you!

Karen Forsman


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