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Traits High-Growth Hires Often Share

You may not run your small business like it’s a global behemoth. Your employees shouldn’t work like that, either.
April 22, 2016

Not all great people are created equal. Workers who might be great for a steady, established enterprise may not be great for a high-growth company.

Here are five traits I’ve noticed in great high-growth hires.

1. Hacker Behavior

I’m not talking about computer hacking here, but rather the behavior of people who are always trying to do more with less. These tend to be the type of people who start successful companies and help build big businesses out of small ones. They approach growth differently and often look for faster, better ways to get their work done, innovate and grow.


GRIT is a term coined by Paul G. Stoltz, author of GRIT: The New Science of What it Takes to Persevere, Flourish, Succeed. It’s the quality you may see in people who go after important goals and do whatever it takes to achieve those goals. People with GRIT don’t give up when they encounter setbacks; instead, they reassess and reroute as needed until they achieve their goals.

It’s often better to set specific times for conversations and let people buckle down and work in the zone for extended periods.

—Chris Ostoich, founder and CEO, Blackbook Experience Management Group


In a growth company, rapid change is often the norm. There are high highs and low lows. Being able to deal with adversity is typically a huge component of what makes people successful in these circumstances so they can help the company advance.

3. Self-Awareness

People with self-awareness tend to understand who they are, their strengths and their weaknesses. Employees with self-awareness also may understand what’s expected from them on the job and what they need to do to make the most valuable contribution possible to the organization. Then they typically put that knowledge into action to help your business grow.

4. An Aversion to Interruptions

To grow quickly, companies usually need to maximize their productivity; for individuals, interruption may be the enemy of that productivity. In many workplaces, people are often being interrupted with questions and comments from their colleagues. This may break their concentration and take them out of their flow.

At BlackbookHR, we believe people should get annoyed when they’re interrupted. It may be better to set specific times for conversations and let people buckle down and work in the zone for extended periods.

5. A Drive to Work Better

Employees who think they can find a way to do whatever they're doing better and faster, and are always striving to work harder and be stronger, often provide the kind of relentless optimization high-growth companies need to get ahead.

When you hire people with these five traits, you may see that every week your teams are turning up the dial on sales, operations, marketing, customer success, etc. And that’s how great companies can help achieve their growth.

Chris Ostoich is founder and CMO at BlackbookHR, a software company. Ostoich is also a member of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. 

Read more articles on hiring and HR.

This article was originally published on April 14, 2015.

Photo: Getty Images