Must-Have Leadership Traits to Look For in All Candidates


Disaster and opportunity have one major thing in common: They both appear when you least expect them. For managers, that means you can lose a great leader with little or no warning, and gain a great leader where you least expected to find one. Have an eye toward leadership abilities in mind when hiring manufacturing employees at all levels and you’ll always have a great team leader or manager waiting in the wings when you need one. Here’s what to watch for in candidates with leadership potential.

Progressive Employment History

A good indicator of leadership ability is an employment history that demonstrates progression toward jobs with more responsibilities. This may mean employees leaving the fryer at McDonald’s for the frontline at Burger King, or it could mean that the employee has moved up the ranks with one employer. What you want to see is a history of promotion to jobs that demand more from the candidate, whether within the same organization or with a succession of organizations.

Proactive Education or Training History

Candidates who’ve sought educational or training opportunities have demonstrated a willingness to spend the time, effort and even money to learn new skills or improve skills they already possess. Employees who seek out education and training have an eye toward larger goals, and are often an inspiration to other employees. And that goes for almost any kind of education or training; while some manufacturing hiring managers are leery of hiring employees with an educational history that’s beyond what’s required or out of the subject area, they’re often worth a closer look. The dedication that seeking educational opportunities requires can come in handy in any industry.

Engagement and Interest

Pay close attention to the questions candidates ask you as an interviewer. Candidates who have taken the time to learn more than just the surface information about your company are leadership material, as are those who ask questions about your equipment, your process, etc. The candidate who’s gone the extra mile to find out about your company and your products or processes is a keeper.

Having difficulty finding candidates with leadership skills? Let Staffing Partners’ prescreen candidates in manufacturing and light industrial trades. Our temporary employment experts recruit the best candidates in the area so companies like yours always have the employees you need, when you need them. Be your industry’s leader — call us today!

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