In the last post, I shared 23 Universal Employee Attributes that you should look for in every employee or candidate for employment. The question now is, how do you use them? What are the attributes you look for when you hire employees? Can you identify them from the list? These may shift in order of importance across different jobs, but generally, they will all be there. You can pull from this list the skills you think are most important for the position you are filling. Here is a good example of how to use this list. Below are two recent job attribute lists I put together – for a sales position on the one hand, and for a software developer on the other.  If I was to hire for either of these positions, these are the top seven attributes I would be seeking.   Sales Person Results oriented Continuous learning Self-management Self starting Goal achievement Resiliency Flexibility Software Developer Self management Problem solving Continuous learning Results oriented Personal accountability Leading others Accountability for others A great way to use the attribute list is through the use of a pre-employment assessment such as the Predictive Index Survey.  I have found that these assessments can drastically cut your error rate in hiring. Once you have identified what attributes are important for a position, these assessments can give you a well rounded understanding of a candidate and help you understand what attributes the candidate actually possess. You may find that those attributes a job candidate says they possess in an interview do not tell the whole story! Another important benefit of PI is that their results give you guidance on the best way to manage and motivate a person.    What if a top candidate is missing one of the attributes on your list? I worked with a direct marketing company that did door-to-door sales. I was looking at their sales rates over time and noticed a huge spike in sales after many years of flat revenue. I asked the owner what he could attribute the spike to. He said, “We found the silver bullet!”  The spike was the result of his discovery of the Predictive Index. He gave the assessment to all of his current employees and was able to clearly identify the top attributes of his best sales people. Those attributes were possessed by approximately 4% of the total population. So I took the test. I was close, I’m a darn good salesman, but I was not in the 4% category. However, the Owner said that didn’t necessarily mean I wouldn’t be hired. He said that when a candidate is close to the attribute set, he took the candidate through a role play exercise based upon their Predictive Index results to determine if the prospect would be a good fit. Even if candidates aren’t 100% match, pre-employment assessment can you help you identify what they need to succeed in both your company and their role.   Try this out. Take a look at your best people. What are the attributes those employees possess that make them successful at their specific job? Create a profile for those people, so that next time you look to hire, you can use those profiles as a template for what will most likely make someone successful. Contact a company that specializes in Predictive Index or another performance indicator survey and ask them to give you several free tests for you and your management team. You’ll be surprised at what you learn.

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Historically, 20% of the companies that make the Inc. 500 list crash and burn within two years of making the list. What should they have known? What should they have done or done differently?

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