Most recruitment and human resource managers have surely heard the saying that, “aim to hire character and then train skill.” While every business will have its own unique needs, there are some top employee characteristics that the majority seem to value above the rest.

These characteristics not only get you the job but also keep you there and most importantly, they improve your chances for promotion and other rewards at work.

Here are 5 that seem to stand out for the top brands that we have had the pleasure to work within East Africa

Have a strong work ethic

A strong work ethic is the most popular quality that hiring managers look for in a candidate—be it a new hire or a prospect for promotion. Managers and recruiters want you to demonstrate your ability to work hard. For example, people who set high goals for themselves, or respond well to the company’s ambitious/stretch goals, as well as employees who show a willingness to do more than just every day 9 to 5 basic tasks, will always be sought after.

Be dependable

A great number of hiring managers agree that an employee who “usually” follows through, and one who ALWAYS follows through do not carry the same weight as far as preference is concerned. People who show a commitment to completing tasks on time, as assigned on the job as well as during the application process will likely continue this behavior for the good of the company. Being dependable is proof that the employer will always count on you at crucial moments and therefore consider you an asset to the company

Maintain a positive attitude

Simply put, positivity leads to a more productive workday and creates a better environment for you and your colleagues. Great employees consistently stand out for their energetic, positive attitudes and earn positive reputations for themselves with peers and managers alike.

Be flexible

A good employee will not resist change; they will instead embrace it and adapt to it as it proves necessary for the business. During interviews, recruiters pick interest in candidates who are comfortable with unknown elements of a job. The same interest applies to employees who are willing to pick up new skills and seamlessly adjust to the shifting goals of the company.

Be self-motivated

Self-motivation is a key soft skill that will take you places as a professional. When it comes to finding and keeping good employees, hiring managers often look for candidates who can take initiative and get work done with little to no encouragement. For these employees, personal enthusiasm and interest in the work are often enough to drive them to perform.

Do you possess these characteristics? If you don’t, begin today to work on being this kind of person—this may be the difference between you landing that new job or great promotion at work.