Qualities + Talents

…when companies select the top 20% of candidates from talent-based assessments, they achieve, on average, a 30% increase in profitability… as well as decreases in turnover and unscheduled absences.


First and foremost, employers want to see solid evidence in your past that shows you can do the job. Not necessarily the exact job and title – but a track record of success using skills that are essential to the position.

Almost simultaneous to that requirement – will you be easy to work with? No employer wants to hire people who appear rude, negative or overly sensitive. No high maintenance people need apply, because they drain energy. Employers have to be able to envision you working within their company culture. Will you be able to embrace the prevailing structures – fit in and get along? Employers are not looking for charmers – but they are looking for likeable people they would enjoy getting to know.

Deborah Allen has interviewed many hiring authorities and decision makers over the years, and no matter what part of the country or the size of the company, a consistent theme emerges when it comes to what employers are looking for.

Next, they are looking for a certain level of enthusiasm for that particular position. If it looks as if their job offering is just a blur among the hundreds of jobs you’re applying for, no matter what your skills are, they will want someone who shows genuine enthusiasm about joining their company. There’s good reason for requiring real interest – because they know that the job, like all jobs, will have negative aspects and your ability to successfully navigate those difficulties will depend on your initial desire to work there.

This will also impact your longevity with the company. Employers like to hire people they feel will stay for at least two years, more for upper management, because it takes that long to be fully integrated and provide real value to the company. Long term, they must be reasonably sure that you will like your job and want to stay, but on a day to day basis, you must enjoy your work or you will never be truly productive or have a positive impact on your fellow employees.

Gallup defines ‘talent as recurring patterns of thought, feeling or behavior that can be productively applied.