Confidence!   If you’re truly confident, you follow it with an exclamation point, not a question mark. 

I remember attending a seminar several years ago focusing on hiring great people.  The presenter stressed the factor of confidence again and again.  And while I understood it, I don’t think I really believed it at that time.  I often fell into the trap, during my recruiting processes, of seeking experience or skills related to the position.  And while I considered personality, I didn’t give confidence the focus I should have.  Maybe I was the one without the strong confidence.

Well today, I get it!  And I seek it…from candidates that is.  This is THE factor to making great hiring decisions.  I’m not talking about ego or cockiness, but I am speaking of recognition of ability and knowledge of learning.

Here are some of the behaviors you will recognize from a confident person:

Accountability – you won’t hear sorry often.  But, a confident person will accept responsibility for what he/she has done well and not done well. 

Innovation – this person will take risks.  The scope of the risk will be impacted by other personality factors, but this person won’t be hindered to stay in his/her comfort zone.

Mentoring – you’re likely to see a person who is confident, share their ideas with others.  Because he/she knows they’ll have more.  And he/she is likely to give credit to others freely.

So, how do you find confident people?  Ask them and listen, they’ll tell you.

1. Ask questions during the interview process about their confidence.  I reference this frequently, but I often ask the question…How would we recognize your confidence in the workplace?  The answers are telling.

2. Ask references about the person’s confidence.  Just reword the previous question.  And listen to what they say.

3. Set up a scenario for the person.  Here’s a simple one…share how you would handle working on a project that you know requires skills you don’t have.  Or ask it from a past tense version….share how you handled a project that required skills you didn’t have.  The response will give you a glimpse into what you’re likely to see in the workplace.

Your confidence as a hiring manager or team member should also be evident to candidates.  Remember you represent yourself and your organization in this process.  Confidence is an attractive attribute and your employment brand should include it.