I was talking to an employer recently about hiring, firing and what goes on in between the two and asked him “what makes a good employee to you?”

He did not even have to think twice about it, his immediate response was the following three points;

1. Someone who anticipates needs.

2. Self-motivated.

3. Core values.

Looking at this list, it really doesn’t seem like it would be a hard one to fill, but it actually is.

I asked if he would go over the points with me so I would be clear on my understanding of what each one meant to him. He was more than willing to share with me and let me know that it is not easy to find employees that have all of these points to work with.

#1. Employers want to hire people who do not have “tunnel vision”, they want them to be able to look around them and see what else might need to be done, and then do it. If you see that the trash needs to be emptied, take it out, don’t wait for someone else to do it or for them to tell you to do it. It is about seeing the need and then making sure it is done. Employers want pro-active employees.

#2. Employers do not want to have to push their employees from behind to get them going, they want them to be self-motivated. Most employers understand that they personally cannot motivate employees. They can give them a good work environment to grow in but they cannot make them grow. This comes from within and not everyone is self-motivated. Employers have a lot on their plate and pushing and prodding their employees to move forward is not something that the have a lot of time to invest in.

#3. Core values can mean different things to different people. The main core values (and there is a list of them) that an employer is seeking for in employees are; reliability, honesty, loyalty, personable, teachable, leadership, compassionate, responsible and fun. This is quite a list indeed, but you can understand why an employer would be looking for an employee who possessed them all.

Far too often during the interview process the candidates will say anything to sweeten the chance of getting the job, but once hired their true color comes out and employers are disillusioned wondering what happened to the person who told them that they were a real go-getter and could get the job done without any issues.

I asked this employer what he would say to a someone looking for a job if he had the chance and his response was; “live up to the high standard that you claim to have. Do the best you possibly can each day without being asked and remember you only get one chance to prove yourself as a trustworthy, loyal and reliable employee, don’t disappoint yourself or the person who gave you the chance to work for them.”