Highly Productive Employees: What Traits to Look For?

Every hiring managers goal revolves around hiring a productive employee. Not only does employee productivity positively impact your company’s bottom line, but greater productivity is also correlated with employee satisfaction and happiness. Individual productivity can be difficult to measure, especially in a prospective hire. Can you tell if someone is productive from just a resume or job interview?

What is Employee Productivity?

Before determining the signs, it is important to understand what employee productivity is. There are many smart employees. There are many hard workers. But employee productivity is more than just smarts or dedication. Employee productivity refers to the efficiency of the individual in the role.

As a recruiter, I’ve helped many candidates through hiring processes and seen how they have settled into their roles. Over the years, I’ve learned that certain personality traits and behaviors are strong predictors for future productivity. Here are signs you might not realize show a propensity for productivity:

4 Signs You’re Hiring a Productive Employee

1. Concise and efficient resume/cover letter

Productive employees are efficiency experts. They communicate their goals and objectives in short but impactful cover letters. Their resumes are to the point and don’t include extraneous employment details. They list accomplishments in bullet points, not paragraphs. They know hiring managers are busy and consequently focus on communicating their main points quickly and effectively.

2. An outcome-oriented resume

Productive people focus on goals, not processes. Their resumes tell a clear story about what they have accomplished and achieved in their past jobs, rather than their responsibilities or job descriptions. They use a lot of verbs to describe their work, they quantify the results they achieved, and they contextualize these results against industry benchmarks.

3. Hobbies and interests outside of the office

I’ve seen a high correlation between productivity and an interest in learning new skills. Productive people are always seeking out new opportunities to expand their minds. Like working out a new set of muscles at the gym, learning keeps your mind agile and flexible. Employees with fit minds are great at looking at problems from new angles, and finding novel ways of solving problems. There’s also the simple fact that employees who have a lot going on outside of their job are motivated to do their work quickly so that they can get out of the office!

4. High level of personal energy

Finally, I’ve found that productive people tend to have a high level of energy you can sense from the moment you meet them. They’re enthusiastic, passionate and engaged when talking about their past work. In a job interview, they sit up straighter, ask a lot of questions, and truly listen to the answers.

Productive employees are a force for positive change in the office. They’ll help find new and better ways of doing things and energize the entire workforce. When you see someone with these traits, don’t let them get away!

What are some ways you enhance your productivity? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.


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