The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a global wave of employees leaving their jobs in hopes of finding a new place of employment that better fits their needs and values. In light of this, it is more important than ever for Business Leaders to prioritise a set of qualities and values to look out for when recruiting their next candidates – no matter the role. This can help ensure synergy between the employer and employee, which can be rendered into a long, fruitful, and symbiotic relationship.

In the latest issue of the annual MaltaCEOs publication, we asked some of Malta’s top business leaders what qualities they look out for when hiring. This is what they had to say:

Easily one of the most common trends is prioritising attitude and character over qualifications.

Jennifer Falzon

“Good character [is what I look for],” Malita Investments CEO Jennifer Falzon said, “having a positive attitude is everything. Someone with a wrong attitude can ruin a team.”

Similarly, Kenneth Brincat, CEO at the Malta Digital Innovation Authority makes a case for hiring individuals with “a good personality that will work well with the team.”

Ms Falzon and Mr Brincat’s opinions are mirrored by Sarah Zammit Cutajar, CEO at P. Cutajar, amd Projects Plus CEO James Camenzuli, who regards “energy and a positive attitude” as two of the most important attributes.

Another highly sought-after value is dependability, which comes in different shapes and forms depending on the company’s needs. Generally, however, ‘trust’ seems to be held at a very high regard by local C-level executives.

Edward Borg Grech

Bluefort CEO Edward Borg Grech prioritises “integrity, grit, and adaptability to learn” when bringing in new recruits. Similarly, Gasan Group CEO Mark Gasan, T4B Services CEO Patrick Spiteri Staines, and DataTech Consulting CEO Paul Baldacchino are firm believers in the importance of “integrity,” “responsibility,” and “commitment” respectively.

A common theme that seems to be emerging is that the most prized qualities aren’t ones that can be taught – rather, they are intrinsic parts of one’s character. Supporting this are several Business Leaders’ comments about the importance of ‘passion’ and ‘motivation’.

“Ambition and the ability to adapt to [the] work environment,” are the values Fortina Investments CEO Edward Zammit Tabona holds closest to heart. Similarly, The Concept Stadium CEO Jonathan Dalli and KDM Investments Chairman and CEO Kenneth De Martino prioritise “motivation and the will to succeed” and “passion” respectively.

Edward Zammit Tabona

A precious quality whose value was further heightened with the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic is ‘flexibility’, and both V&C Group CEO Christabelle Camilleri and Malta Tourism Authority CEO Johann Buttigieg keep an eye out for this when bringing new recruits on board.

This article is part of the serialisation of interviews featured in MaltaCEOs 2022 – an annual high-end publication bringing together some of the country’s most influential business leaders.


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