The Keys to Identifying Leaders

Author: Mike Moore, Director of Training, HVAC Learning Solutions

Whether you’re trying to select a candidate for training, promotions, or succession, how do you know which employee is best for the job? Finding the right fit within your company plays a key part in successful business management, and putting the proper candidate in the driver’s seat of a new role enables both you and them to work smarter. But among an office of qualified, hardworking employees, it can be difficult to determine what matters most in a potential hire. Here are three key factors to consider when identifying and promoting leaders within your organization.

Assess their abilities, both within and beyond their current role.

Build a mental blueprint of the position you’re looking to fill, then brainstorm a list of the top 15 or 20 traits that would best enable a candidate to be successful in that role. Who in your workplace best embodies those traits? Since the new role may be quite a bit different than their current job, pay attention not necessarily to what the candidate is doing, but how they’re doing it. Their role may change, but the way they work will likely remain constant, so assess those qualities outright.

Seek initiative: Do they want more?

Even if you think they’re perfect fit, if a candidate isn’t interested in a job transition, they’re probably not. Find someone who’s hungry for a new challenge! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Hire for attitude; train for skills. A can-do, put-me-in-coach outlook will take both you and your hire much further than passing the torch to an employee who’s reluctant to make the transition in the first place.

Pay attention to the way they treat others — and the way others treat them.

A good leader knows how to play well with others, no matter the job. Keep an eye on how they get along with both coworkers and clients, particularly if the role you’re looking to fill is client-facing. Has the person built positive relationships with customers and earned their trust and respect for your brand? If you can see this key trait exemplified in their current position, it will likely continue as they climb the ladder in your company.

In the meantime, make sure you’re grooming all of your employees to be the best they can be with our continuing education classes.

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