Empirical research from organisational psychologists has shown that how well a new employee hits the ground running is a factor of

  • The new employee’s characteristics,
    • Their behaviours, and
    • The organizations efforts.

If these are in place the employee has a higher job satisfaction, better job performance, greater organizational commitment, and reduction in occupational stress and intent to quit.

The characteristics that you should be looking for in the hiring process are;

  • Proactiveness
    • openness to experiences,
    • Curiosity and
    • experience


A “proactive personality” takes charge of situations and achieve control over their environment.
Within the hiring process, do they follow up on the next step?
Do they help ask for what the next step is?
Do they offer solutions that will speed up the hiring decision making?

The proactive person seeks out information that accelerates them fitting into your company.
This helps them to adapt faster.
Empirical evidence demonstrates that proactive personalities have increased levels of job satisfaction and performance.
Openness to experience (inventive vs. consistent).

Openness reflects the degree of intellectual curiosity, creativity and a preference for novelty and variety a person has. It is also described as the extent to which a person is imaginative or independent, and depicts a personal preference for a variety of activities over a strict routine.
They can be assessed by the applicant’s hobbies and interests.
They might be found in appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, curiosity, and variety of experience.

New employees who are proactive or particularly open to experience are more likely to seek out information, feedback, acceptance, and relationships with co-workers.
They also exhibit higher levels of adjustment and tend to frame events more positively.
These are traits that you can assess within the reference checking and to certain degree in the interviews.


Curiosity plays a substantial role in the newcomer adaptation process and is defined as the “desire to acquire knowledge” that energizes individual exploration of an organization’s culture and norms.

Do they ask genuine questions (instead of wanting to appear interested)?

Curious people tend to frame challenges in a positive light and eagerly seek out information to help them make sense of their new organizational surroundings and responsibilities, leading to a smoother start up.


More experienced members of the workforce tend to adapt to a new organization differently from, for example, a new graduate starting their first job.

This is because seasoned employees can draw from past experiences to help them adjust to their new work settings. They usually have a better understanding of their own needs and requirements at work and are more familiar with what is acceptable in the work context.


Additionally, veteran workers may have used their past experiences to seek out organizations in which they will be a better fit, giving them an immediate advantage in adapting to their new jobs.