Four Common Traits of Top Employees

In any industry, there are employees that have exceptional skill sets, educational backgrounds, and employment histories. They stand out because of their aptitude and specialized abilities. But employers are looking for more than just an impressive resume. A major part of the recruitment process is looking past an applicant’s qualifications to try and evaluate their real potential as an employee.

This process is tricky, because there is no sure fire way to know how someone will perform on the job and within a work environment until they actually start. But over time, employers have been able to identify several general characteristics that all great employees seem to share. From entry level positions to top executives, and across all industries, these are the four common traits of top employees.


An employee can be great at their job, but if they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes, oversights, or failures, they will be a disruptive presence. Employees that can’t be held accountable require constant micromanagement. Employers want to know that anyone they hire can work independently and take ownership of the results.


Change is a fact of life, no matter what industry you are in. The things that work today will eventually be obsolete, and probably faster than most of us expect. The best employees can anticipate these changing circumstances, prepare themselves accordingly, and remake themselves entirely if necessary. Being flexible demonstrates competence, commitment, and the crucial awareness that no business exists in a vacuum. For employers, the ideal hire will be effective today, and tomorrow.


Success in business relies on doing things better than the competition. That is why employers want to work with employees that can bring creative thinking to the table. Innovative ideas, by definition, come from unexpected places, and employers want to staff their ranks with the creative minds that can hunt them down. Good employees do everything that is required for them. Great employees push the boundaries of their responsibilities.


No matter how capable an employee is, if they cannot communicate effectively with others, their value to an organization is lost. Experience has proven that effective communication helps to foster new ideas, catch problems preemptively, and promote efficiency. And lack of communication can have just as many negative effects. From the beginning of the recruitment process, great employees demonstrate that they can communicate effectively using any means, and in any environment.

As you are developing your resume and going out for interviews, think of ways to emphasize your character traits as much as your job skills. If there is an anecdote or achievement from your past that illustrates your positive traits as an employee, try to emphasize it. This is an effective way to differentiate yourself from other applicants and appeal to recruiters on a more fundamental level. To learn more about successfully navigating today’s job market, rely on the resources and expertise of Selectek.