Go to any job board and check out any job description. Nestled between “strong communication skills” and “team player” you’ll almost always find it: “must be detail-oriented.”  Nearly every current opening lists some version of attention to detail as a key skill required to succeed. Which begs the question: why is attention to detail such a big deal in business? And how can you find these meticulous creatures when you’re building out your team?

Attentive Employees Make A Difference

Simply put, making mistakes is not good – no matter what the job is. That’s the main reason why attention to detail is so important across industries and positions. Detail-oriented employees are more likely to catch and prevent mistakes, allowing you to avoid costly blunders in the long run. Even small mistakes can cause big problems, so you want to hire someone thorough that’ll do things right the first time.

Sitting somewhere between a soft skill and a hard skill, attention to detail is paramount regardless of job title and duties. It’s an important skill to have whether you’re looking to fill entry-level or C-Suite roles. So how do you go about finding detail-oriented employees?

How to Find Detail-Oriented Minds

There are a couple of standard ways to determine how attentive a candidate is. One of the first places you can look is their resume. Are there any typos or basic spelling errors? What about consistent font use and style? Any candidate who submits their resume without methodically proofreading either doesn’t care that much about the position or doesn’t have high attention to detail. Either way, that person is probably not the right fit for your company.

While it’s more nuanced than a spelling error, you can also determine a candidate’s attentiveness in the interview. Are they focused and engaged? Can they recall information from earlier in the interview? Do they ask specific questions about the role and the company (an indicator of pre-interview research)? If a candidate seems disinterested or distracted, it could suggest that they’d be disengaged on the job.

Want any even more effective way determine a candidate’s meticulous nature? Consider using a cognitive assessment that explicitly measures their attention to detail. We designed JobFlare to accurately assess the main components of a candidate’s cognitive aptitude, the strongest predictor of job success. Attention to detail is an important slice of the cognitive pie that can be hard to consistently evaluate. We developed the game Robot Inspector, a fast-paced spot-the-difference challenge, that shines a spotlight on the player’s ability to quickly process information and pick up on minor differences.

It’s All in the Details

Attentive employees will notice the little things, which can have a big impact on your bottom line. Attention to detail is predictive of a host of important on-the-job skills: focus, organization, conscientiousness, and observation. No matter how you determine your candidates’ attention to detail, it’s a vital skill that you should keep an eye out for when you’re hiring.