Indicators a Candidate is a Leader

January 5th, 2016

Leadership is a highly sought-after quality in job candidates. But it can be difficult to really determine whether a candidate you are interviewing is a true leader. Today’s article provides a brief list of threekey indicators that will help you see the leadership qualities in your interviewee. These indicators include decision-making skills, innovation and creativity, and an ability to share knowledge and teach skills.

Leadership Indicator #1: Decision Making Skills

A strong leader is able to make good decisions quickly and efficiently. They are committed to taking responsibility for their actions, and the actions of their team, because they know the buck stops with them. A confidence in their ability to make decisions in high-pressure situations, ones which are based on information and data, is critical to high-quality decision-making skills.

Focus your questions on providing sample scenarios and asking how they would address an issue that might occur on the job. Exercises such as this provide them the opportunity to walk you through their thought process so you can see how and why they might make their decisions. This will help you better understand how they might react in similar situations as an employee, and help you decide whether they have the right decision-making skills for the position.

Leadership Indicator #2:  Teaching Skills

A good leader is also a naturally good teacher. These candidates are able to show their love of sharing knowledge and understanding with their team. Teaching skills might not seem like a staple leadership quality, but those managers who are unable to communicate new processes or insights effectively are often unable to motivate and engage those they need to get the job done. A successful leader is able to identify gaps in the skill sets of their team, and then work towards teaching individuals how to fill that void to create a better, more well-rounded team.

To see whether a job candidate is able to lead through teaching, ask for an instance where they have taught a colleague something.  Ask them to describe why they felt it was necessary to share their knowledge, how and what they taught their co-worker, and how the team dynamic changed because of the sharing of knowledge. This will not only help you evaluate whether they are in fact a good teacher, but will also show if their teaching had the type of positive impact good leaders are built on.

Leadership Indicator #3: Innovation

Creative thinking and out-of-the-box innovation are additional indicators of high-quality leadership skills. It’s easy enough to simply follow directions on a day-to-day basis, but rethinking through processes and implementing improvements takes innovation and tenacity. Ask your interviewee to provide an example of a time when their innovation and creative thinking helped to solve a problem or improve a process in past work experiences. Better yet, ask them how they would solve a problem you are currently facing today.

For more advice on how to identify candidates with leadership qualities, or for help in finding quality talent, contact the experts at Search Staffing Group today.

4 Employee Engagement Ideas for 2016

January 3rd, 2016

It’s a new year! Are you ready to bring your employees on board in new and exciting ways? Leave any crisis or reactive management habits at the door, because this can be the year when you really engage your team to inspire better productivity and long-term commitment. Studies show that engaged employees are more content, more effective in their jobs, and more likely to stay loyal to their company. This year can be your year to focus on making sure your team is at their happiest and most productive. This article will discuss four exciting ways you can engage your employees in 2016.

Communicating Strategy

Employees like to know they are being kept in the loop in terms of long-term and high-level corporate strategy. As an employer, be sure to communicate your departmental efforts clearly to demonstrate leadership and engage your staff. Show your team how their efforts roll up into the overall success of the company. Give credit where credit is due, and be as transparent with high-level decisions as is practicable. Employees will feel more comfortable with the direction the company is heading if you engage them and communicate with them directly.

Developing Top Performers

Your company’s greatest resource is your employees. Top performers should not only be rewarded for their efforts, but also invested in to engage and encourage them to stay committed to your company. Hold training seminars, offer clear paths for career growth and development, encourage positive work-life balance, and take the time to review goals to make sure that your best employees are headed in the direction they want to go. One of the top reasons people become unhappy at work and choose to pursue opportunities elsewhere is a lack of corporate commitment to their career growth. Don’t let this lack of engagement lead your top performers astray. Keep them interested and engaged in their jobs and in the company.

Opportunities to Collaborate

Today’s workforce is interested in being included in high-level decision making. To keep your team engaged, offer them multiple opportunities to collaborate whether through meetings for staff to brainstorm solutions in response to a particular issue or problem, or through more project-based efforts. Give them the chance to reach out to and meet other professionals across the company and learn how they might work together to do new and exciting things. As an employer, it is your job to encourage and perhaps even facilitate these opportunities in order for your staff to know they have the chance to reach out. Once you see the success and engagement such collaboration inspires, you will be very happy to have gone to the effort to engage your team.


Mentorship opportunities abound in the professional realm, but not everyone is lucky enough to find a good mentor on their own. As an employer, you can encourage mentorship through a mentor-mentee matchmaking program, or other such example of corporate support of this common networking activity. Have your managers make a note of pairing up new hires with experienced employees, and do what you can to create a corporate culture of mentoring to engage new hires and veteran employees as well.

For more advice on how to improve your employee engagement efforts, or for help in finding quality talent, contact the experts at Search Staffing Group today.