Redefining What “Top Talent” Looks Like

As technology continues to transform the workplace, companies must adapt their recruiting efforts and redefine what “top talent” looks like.As technology continues to transform the workplace, companies must adapt their recruiting efforts and redefine what “top talent” looks like.

According to Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2019 report, 73% of executives expect significant disruption in their industries in the next three years. Ever-evolving offices require workers who can adapt quickly when things inevitably change. In the past, companies looked for talent along with mastery of skills and subjects. Now, curiosity matters most.

Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, was onto something when he said, “We run the company by questions, not by answers.” Curious employees, by nature, look for smarter routes — they’re problem solvers. Companies need those curious employees in an era of unpredictable opportunities and disruptions.

The Power of Curiosity

Today’s enterprises are integrating technology into every process and collecting data on a massive scale. In this environment, employees must be adaptable, open to new opportunities, and focused on efficiency. This is where curiosity comes into play.

Curious employees will seek connections, increase productivity, and solve problems using every tool at their disposal. They will identify issues, ask the right questions, and engage in problem-solving behaviors.

Hiring curious people spurs other key benefits: You’ll start hiring more from within, saving time and money on sourcing candidates; your client satisfaction scores will improve as your employees seek better ways to serve them; and you will see an uptick in new customers as your reputation spreads.

Finding Curiosity in Candidates

As a director, you must set the tone for hiring curious candidates. According to Cielo, more than 70% of business leaders feel it’s important that they are involved in hiring decisions and practices. Even if you are not the person interviewing candidates, make it clear to hiring managers and HR that curiosity is a valuable and necessary trait.

Here are three tools and strategies to ensure you’re hiring curious people:

Listen for passion. Nikefinds success by hiring people who share the company’s spirit of all-inclusive athleticism. Get a sense of every candidate’s true nature by listening for what he or she is passionate about. People take on a distinct tone of voice when speaking about the things they consider important and inspiring. In these moments, they drop their guard and reveal something honest about themselves. Make sure these indicators inform evaluations.

Discover guiding traits. Don’t hesitate to ask what specific traits guide candidates personally and professionally. They might not identify “learning” or “curiosity,” but you’ll learn about their openness to new things. Ask their thoughts about the last book they read — their answers will provide clues about how they explore information and analyze ideas.

Use assessment tools. Screening tools can supplement the interview process. More than 80% of companies rely on assessment tools. Not just any tool will do, though. Any test you administer should be designed to evaluate curiosity, adaptability, and critical thinking skills.

Your company culture should encourage curiosity by facilitating communications, acknowledging good ideas, and promoting individual excellence. Fostering that environment starts with hiring curious employees, though. Ultimately, curious people help companies see what’s coming next instead of settling into the status quo.

David Lesniak
David Lesniak is the CEO of Personiv, a people-powered outsourcing provider offering solutions across verticals, from finance and accounting to customer care and creative. Personiv works to quickly build teams and add skills to scale businesses of any size. David has more than 20 years of leadership experience and an MBA from Harvard Business School.