The Helpful Gene is critical to a strong organization
others not as much. There certainly are studies about how personality type and birth order affect helpfulness, and like most research you can find some to make whatever case you care to make.
But, I'll say this: when you look for staff members, or vendors of any type, helpfulness should be a key hiring trait. It's a primary key to long-term success.
Helpfulness is a personality trait. To those that have it, it's ingrained. Those that are truly helpful LOVE to help people, sometimes even those that don't want to be helped. Which can cause problems for the 'helper' that has yet to rein in their gift.
I'm a helper. I've been that way for as long as I can remember. Over my life it has caused both joy and pain, as I learned where and when helpfulness was - well, helpful.
On the surface, and maybe even down a few layers, this post might seem self-serving. And I suppose it is to some extent. Since I am helpful, I view it as a valuable and necessary skill. But this post goes much deeper than being self-serving because it is about WHY helpful people are good for organizations.
In order to use your helpfulness you have to: see issues from other's point of view, understand the big picture, develop solutions that really solve problems, and you might have to become good at presenting on topics/issues that no one wants to discuss or talk about. You have to care and, more than that, you have to care about the people affected, and to understand the issues from the business side and the customer's side.
So, consider what questions you can ask to uncover if your next vendor or employee is a helpful soul. Their long-term value to your organization will be directly correlated to their helpfulness.