There many things that you may look for when hiring a new employee, depending upon the job you expect that person to do. Yet I found, in 18 years of managing my own advertising agency, and 15 years as a manager for others before that, that in addition to whatever else may be needed, there are two qualities required to do a superior job, no matter what the job is.
It took me many years of hiring experience to learn what my two imperatives are. Like other bosses, I made my share of mistakes to discover that the qualities are:
1) Genuine enthusiasm for the job. Someone who has a positive outlook on the world in general, and the energy and sense of commitment to overcome difficulties and get the job done.
2) Strength of character. Someone who can be trusted to be absolutely honest and loyal, and to do the right thing.
Finding both these qualities in one person isn’t a simple matter. But when you do, you’ve found a strong candidate. In many instances, just these two qualities may be enough to identify a successful employee. If he has those, and is reasonably bright, you can teach him the rest.