HR & Management


The 5 types of employees you need to hire

5 Mins

This should play an important part in deciding not only the skills of the next person you hire, but also their personality type.

We are always at pains to remind interviewees to be themselves when we meet them, as when you have people who are putting on a front, that doesn’t last and can cause problems further down the line.

So what’s a good mix for a growing and successful business? I’d say you need the following five types of worker:

1. Starters 

These creative people generate the ideas that move you forward. They may be at the top of your organisation, but if they are not, it’s important that they have a means to be heard so consider introducing a regular open forum with departments where ideas can be aired, or an email survey.

2. Finishers

It’s said that the last 20 per cent of a job can take 80 per cent of the time. That’s what gives you the competitive edge. From a long list of possible options, it’s these people who can pick the right idea, be very focused and see the job through. You get the most value from this kind of worker. A lot of our growth has come from our ability to see projects through to a successful conclusion. 

Look for workers with incredible attention to detail; they’re the ones who double and triple check every document. They set a good example, although they can often frustrate people as they seem like a roadblock. However, when the job is finished, it’s inspiring to see how much your completer has contributed.

3. Data wizards

In this day and age, it’s absolutely vital to have people who are able to manipulate large amounts of data. Whether you are involved in purchasing, pricing or any other aspect of business, Google Analytics means that everything is now measurable. So my company, your company, every company needs people who enjoy sitting sifting through these figures for lessons the business can learn. 

Look for people who enjoy puzzles, who are happy to work on their own. In our business, we work collaboratively at first on projects, then people sit on their own and get on with it. This is vital for an online company.

4. Grafters

You’re not going to get far without workers who are happy to have a lot of tasks and just go through them. They can get through enormous amounts of work on a list and don’t tend to get distracted. In our company, we have a department of people who look after product data, adding products to our website. We need to know they’ll plough through the list day in, day out.

5. People people

Especially as you get more staff, it is important to hire people who get on with others. This might sound obvious, but if you have a manager who is good at dealing with people, the effects can be far-reaching. These people are of use internally and also externally to build relationships. It’s really important that you are seen in the right way and this helps with suppliers and all of your commercial relationships with other companies. It also helps with your customers, if they ‘click’ straight away with the person they are dealing with at the other end of the phone. 

These employees are carrying your message that you do what you say you will, you deliver. 

If you prefer a calm working environment where everyone works collaboratively, there is no place for the old school ‘pitbull’ type of worker, who inspires fear among his colleagues. They tend to come attached to big egos.

That’s not good – it’s all about getting the right mix for your company.

Ian Cowley is the managing director of the UK’s largest dedicated printer cartridge company –

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