Based on data presented recently by economist Dr. Rajeev Dhawan of Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business, our state added 3,200 financial sector jobs in 2013 – 1,500 in the fourth quarter alone. Recall that Georgia had the distinction of suffering the nation’s highest number of bank failures between 2007-2013, so it’s noteworthy to see an industry recovery starting here.
That same level of activity is likely occurring in several states as lenders gear up staff to accommodate rising economic activity that will need financing. Coleman Report’s lender outlook survey (October 1, 2013) reflected 58 percent of respondents expected a 2014 expansion and 39 percent were already planning to add new staff.
Who will you hire to manage this growth? What are the best attributes to look for in these candidates? Entrepreneur.com recently offered a good article that suggested five important attributes to look for in high performing employees that I believe provides good advice:
Horsepower: Intelligence over experience. An intelligent candidate can quickly learn a job and frequently ends up doing it better than someone (less intelligent) who has been doing a similar job elsewhere. Experience is certainly valuable, but brains are the horsepower that drives the business.
Ownership and pride: Run the mile you are in. No matter their current job or career status, are they focused and engaged and take ownership in their work?
Work ethic: The valued employee is not only the one willing to work hard, they search for ways to contribute more. A preferred work history demonstrates a willingness to contribute, desire to lead, new ideas and pride in their accomplishments.
Integrity: Ask for examples of difficult decisions candidates have had to make or ethical dilemmas they’ve faced. Listen for candid responses as to how they handled these situations.
Teamwork: So much of what we do involves collaboration that we must have team players across our business. People who are ego-less and put the interests of the company above their own and are eager to share information and help their co-workers makes for a better team.