66985064 - two professional business people shaking handsDo you need to hire a new employee? The process of advertising a job, screening applicants, scheduling interviews and making the final selection of a new employee creates a level of risk. As a small business owner, you have many legal responsibilities under federal employment anti-discrimination laws.

That’s why we have assembled a detailed, multi-part education program for our clients called “Work Smart,” that’s filled with documented smart business practices in every area, including hiring. Companies can use this information to build more risk-proof activities and procedures, avoiding potential business risks such as asking prohibited questions during the application process.

When hiring, there’s also the risk, of course, that you will select an employee that isn’t a good fit for your business. That’s why we wanted to share with you four qualities that studies show can help you make a successful hire, whatever your industry:

Initiative. Does the job applicant have a history of volunteering for whatever work needs to be done, not just the jobs that are the easiest or that will earn kudos? This is a good measure of the applicant’s initiative.

Adaptability. Do they view failures as opportunities to grow and succeed or are they afraid to take risks? Do they manage change or do they seem to avoid it? Are they annoyed by day-to-day hassles or do they approach them with a cheerful attitude? No one wants to work with someone who can’t adapt to changing conditions or has a dour attitude.

Empathy. People who regularly seek out opportunities to help other people can be valuable additions to most any team.

A positive attitude. Positive people view challenges as opportunities to learn, adapt, and succeed. Positive attitudes can be contagious among co-workers. As managers, people with great attitudes often are more apt to demonstrate to their workers that they have faith in their abilities to handle challenges and make important decisions. Who wouldn’t want to work with that type of person?