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    5 Traits of Committed Employees

    Employment today looks a lot different than it used to. Employees, especially millennials and Gen Zers, no longer join a company and commit to it until retirement like many baby boomers did. While baby boomers stayed with their employers for an average of 20 years, the new generation of employees tends to stay at a company for about two years before hopping to their next gig. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that’s an average of 11.7 jobs in their lifetime. To add to this, 27% of this new workforce changes jobs every year, earning the ultimate job hopper crown.

    Recruiters, as you can imagine, face a lot of hiring challenges with “job hoppers.” They prefer to hire employees who will stay with the company for an extended amount of time. After all, it saves and makes the company money—it reduces the amount spent on hiring a backfill, harnesses institutional knowledge and preserves productivity. 

    So, how do you hire a workforce that will help your business be profitable (and mitigate the expenses listed above)? The trick is finding candidates that have specific traits beyond the functional and process capabilities that the job description calls for. Here are the five core areas you should focus on to find the best, most committed employees.

    1. Alignment to Company Mission

    Millennials, but in reality, all employees, feel the need to work for an organization that is making a meaningful difference in the world. Not all organizations are non-profits—and that’s ok, even for Millennials. If you’re a for-profit business, the profit you make serves as an indication of the value you are contributing to society. Clearly communicate the value your business is delivering, and see how your candidate responds. If the candidate shows an interest and active participation in helping you and your team achieve that higher calling, you’re on the right track.

    2. Attitude Toward Team Work

    If the role you’re hiring for requires team collaboration, pay close attention to signs that will indicate how well your candidate will work with your team. It’s better to have a moderate performer who’s an outstanding team player than an outstanding solo performer who doesn’t work well on a team. Ask the candidate questions to see how they would respond in different team scenarios to see if they’re the right fit.

    3. Growth Mindset

    If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that we need to be adaptable—and that only comes from our willingness to learn and change. This applies to business processes, customer requirements and even our responsibilities. It's important for your organization to be agile and for every new employee to be flexible, quickly adaptable, and most importantly, an active learner. That may also mean that they need to be comfortable with failing—and failing fast. Introducing new products, services and approaches will not be easy, but if your candidate shows a willingness to do their best, learn along the way, share their ideas and remain open to the ideas of others, take note.

    4. Problem-Solving Skills

    A related yet different capability is that of problem solving. In fast-paced environments, especially when working directly with customers, it’s important that each member of your team is able to autonomously solve problems. In the hospitality industry, a large part of your offering is service, so you want team members who can deliver the best experience by coming up with effective solutions on the fly.

    5. Strong Work Ethic

    Last but not least, work ethic. The restaurant industry today—more than ever—needs reliable people. People who will show up for their shifts. People who are committed to making sure the customer experience is a top priority. Talk to your candidate to better understand how reliable they are and how they handle common situations they’ll face day-to-day.


    Choosing quality hires is critical. It’s also challenging. And although this isn’t a comprehensive list of the qualities you should be looking for when finding the right candidate, these five traits are early indicators of a strong and committed hire.

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    Brett Knowles

    Brett is a long-time thought leader in the Strategy Execution space for high-tech organizations, beginning in the late 80’s while teaching at Harvard and being involved in the initial Balanced Scorecard research and books. His client work has been published in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fortune and countless businesses, including where he currently is CEO.

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