What undervalued qualities do you look for in job candidates?

Biz Compass



Patti Plough
President and CEO of operations, Healics Inc.

“Resilience. No matter what job you’re applying for, you will have to persevere in it to achieve the best results. A startup scales through resilience by processing, repetition and constant improvement. Candidates must demonstrate this ability through their past experiences. This gives me an indication that the candidate will work through challenges and not give up.”



Betsy Brown
Executive vice president/general manager – The Cramer-Krasselt Co.

“Humbleness—we work in a team environment and the work suffers if someone wants to steal the show. Attentiveness—the ability to really listen to clients and coworkers. Eagerness—our business changes so fast, you have to be ready for the next challenge every day.”



Jeff Gruhn
General manager of health care – M.A. Mortenson Co.

“Too often, firms make decisions based solely on a candidate’s experience and education. While these are important, it’s also valuable to identify whether the individual will integrate into your culture and be a long-term asset. Hiring genuinely good people who have a broad skillset and are able to adapt with the evolution of the business is key.”



Chris Zwygart
Chief legal officer – West Bend Mutual Insurance Co.

“Empathy and diplomacy. It’s easy to be drawn to a candidate who is a rule enforcer and focuses mercilessly on executing the tasks at hand.  A candidate who understands others’ perspectives and can patiently negotiate good alternatives is better at identifying and addressing issues before they become problems.”



Kelly Rudy
President, The Paranet Group

“Stress can be high so a sense of humor is great. We want to see healthy curiosity around what we do and how to improve it. We won’t let our people become failures, but first they need the courage to fail and then confidence to move forward.”

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