7 Candidate Traits that Should Be on All Employers’ Christmas Wishlists

7 Candidate Traits that Should Be on Every Employer's Wishlist

During record-low unemployment rates, employees have the advantage in this holiday season’s job market. Hiring managers may even be determining to hire less-than-qualified candidates for open positions out of fear that big-shot companies such as Amazon will cause a drought in the hiring pool altogether. But some top candidate traits are simply non-negotiable.

Your company shouldn’t have to sacrifice basic standards for potential employees during seasonal hiring. Hiring the wrong candidate for the job could, in reality, cause more revenue loss and headaches than if you hadn’t hired anyone at all. To help avoid that situation, keep in mind these 7 top candidate traits that every employer should keep on their Christmas wishlist during hiring:


The first quality you should look for in a candidate is someone who takes their own initiative and proactively seeks learning opportunities. You want someone who is willing to learn new things and ask questions. They should be enthusiastic about becoming a better employee and educate themselves on job-related practices both inside and outside of the workplace. Don’t pick someone who waits to be taught something new. Choose someone who goes out and finds their own learning opportunities to make themselves better at their job.

Team Player:

Good company culture is something many businesses fight hard to build and maintain. Even one employee who doesn’t want to work with the team or fit in within that culture can be detrimental to collaboration. Rather than allow one new employee—whether seasonal or permanent—to disrupt the culture you’ve worked hard to create, hire only those employees whose personalities and work ethics will complement your current staff and procedures.

Communication Wiz:

You need someone who is easy to talk to and who articulates their ideas well. They must be able to communicate well with the members of their team and any other necessary parties and listen carefully when needed. This is especially important for employees who are frequently talking or working with customers. Employees who aren’t very skilled communicators could reduce efficiency and customer satisfaction during such interactions.

Knows their Strengths . . . and Their Weaknesses:

Even the most skilled candidates understand that they have areas in which they can improve. Make sure they can articulate how your organization can help them improve their weaknesses. They must also be able to clearly discern what their strengths are and use them to the company’s advantage.


If a candidate cannot clearly tell you why they are applying for this job (other than to earn a paycheck), they aren’t the right candidate. They should have a story to tell about why they love what they do. After all, it is passion that makes us strive to achieve the best possible results. You don’t want someone who is simply going through the motions in order to get their salary, but rather someone who is loyal to the product or service you’re providing.


The candidate you choose should also know what they want and how they are going to achieve it, especially in the context of working for your company. An employee who has a clear set of goals and an idea of how to work at them will likely be more productive and improve faster than an employee who doesn’t. They will also understand how their relationship with your company is beneficial to their progress, which increases their loyalty to your business.

Has a Good Rap:

During the current talent shortage, it can be tempting to hire on any qualified candidates as quickly as possible to meet your workload needs. But don’t jump the gun and skip the usual procedures—pre-employment background checks are necessary to ensure that you save your company time and money by avoiding candidates who have a negative track record with previous employers, financial obligations, or criminal involvement. Make sure you hire a reputable company such as USAFact so you get the most accurate results available for each potential employee. Having a good rap is one of the top candidate traits you’d be remiss to skip.

As you begin your seasonal hiring this year, don’t be fooled by the lower number of potential candidates in the hiring pool. There are still plenty of qualified employees you can attract as you present your business as one who can help its staff reach new heights in their careers. As you seek candidates who fit within your company culture and want to achieve their goals by working for you, you can not only find the best people for the job but also develop great employee relationships.

So, hiring managers, take advice from the guy in the red suit himself and check your Christmas wishlists twice—you won’t want to miss these finding these top candidate traits in future employees. After all, you might just get exactly what you asked for.