What kinds of qualities do you look for in a prospective employee? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
When hiring, first I look for integrity. Integrity means respecting others, doing the right thing even when no one is watching, not taking undue benefit of something undeserved, saying the same thing in your face as behind your back, demonstrating intellectual honesty, etc.
Secondly I look for intelligence and energy. They feed off each other. If you "get" something, you are more eager to work hard to accomplish your goals. When you have energy, you will soon build up your skill and knowledge. (But there are people who have only energy and no real understanding of the business, or who have full understanding of the business but no real energy.)
Note that by "intelligence" I hear mean some sort of combination of natural talent and ability to learn. You don't have to be an Einstein, but you should every day be smarter than the day before.
Business is about results, so every employee must be results-driven. They must know how to get stuff done.
Results can be achieved in a sustainable way only when people work together, so that's a key requirement.
It is also great when people are curious and creative, when they are good leaders, when they communicate and socialize well, and when they have a special skill that the company needs.
And finally, anyone joining an organization must come in with a commitment and passion to the mission of the organization. We human beings are so much sharper and so much more productive when commitment and passion kicks in. Working without commitment or passion is a waste of a piece of humankind.