I tend to ramble, so here's a rewrite of what I'd planned for this entry.
1) Pawn Inclination
Inclinations control how your pawn behaves. Poor behaviour always boils down to crappy inclinations. Guardian and nexus are a universal rejection. Big fan of utilitarian.
For more details see the pawn inclination troubleshooting article.
2) Gear (visuals)
Wear anything except onesies or DLC gear - everyone gets those, it's lazy. I don't care about stats: dragonforged, rarified, or even completely not upgraded, doesn't matter. Don't be naked, don't be lazy. C'mon folks, this isn't difficult.
3) Weight class
Small (S and SS) class pawns can't carry squat, they get encumbered way too quickly. Worse, this forces the rest of the party to pick up the slack. If you really need to design a light pawn try to reach M class at least.
Same with stats, I don't care too much about the exact skills or augments a pawn has equipped. Honestly my requirements are pretty low: good inclinations, don't use DLC crap, not tiny size, everything else is more or less common sense (e.g. why would someone hire a pawn with no augments equipped?). Aside from min-maxers wanting to use DLC gear this is all stuff you'd want on your own pawn anyway.