Have you ever gotten lucky?
I hear countless comments such as… "we are lucky to have found this person” … or “our luck was just about to run out and then we found this person”.
So how can you get more lucked up?
I frequently give talks to university students around the country about how 3 elements can help them “get lucked” with their career pursuits. These same three elements will also help in recruitment and finding the right candidates.
1. Explore the Desire for Meaningful Relationships
Building relationships and managing stakeholders is found in most job descriptions. It has become so common that it’s often ignored or overlooked in the interview.
However, we know from years of assessment work we’ve done with corporate teams that relationship management is a core competency.
The importance of relationship management skills will vary on the level of work undertaken. For example, from sharing useful or relevant information to communicating a vision with the team such that it generates enthusiasm and commitment to the company's objectives.
To gain these insights many companies should undertake a formal assessment process to ascertain how the teams actually build and manage relationships.
The good news is that behavioural interview questions are a proven way to reveal a person’s ability to collaborate, adapt, and more. By looking at their past behaviour, you can more easily determine what someone will be like to work with.
2. Indulge Those Bad Thoughts and Ideas
Very few employers push the concept that they want people with bad ideas!
What we’re talking about is the skill for innovation, creatively or design thinking - now there’s a few buzz words!
The bottom line in finding the right person is to focus on their ability to solve problems and assess ideas – including the bad ones – to add value to the organisation.
So why is it so important to have bad ideas?
Ideas are the currency for stimulation, growth and innovation. There is no “good” or “bad” idea, it’s just how you use it.
A bad idea can be repurposed, reframed, repositioned and then commercialised. Bad ideas are the cornerstone for progress and creative thinking. It’s in the genesis of bad ideas that good solutions are the most fertile and ready to grow.
Lateral thinking, critical thinking and strategic thinking all utilise ideas - including bad ideas - to come up with the solutions to solve unmet consumer needs and develop new concepts to meet these needs.
3. Take a Risk and Do What You Feel
A person’s ability to take risk is more often than not viewed from an academic or financial perspective.
However, there’s the human side as well, which may be seen as more esoteric, but is without a doubt much more indicative of how a person performs in reality.
It takes a great deal of effort to assess a person’s risk profile, and at an interview you can only rely on past experiences and examples that teases this out.
It is crucial to understand how willing a person is to take risks before hiring them, especially as you hire further up the seniority chain.
Honesty, vulnerability, and intuition are the traits to look for when it comes to how a person realistically manages risk. For example when it comes to a senior leadership role, how will the candidate make a high risk decision on the success measures to evaluate a “go" or “no-go” states on projects? How will they determine the success outcome to venture into “unchartered waters?” This is exactly where they need to go with what feels to be the best approach, in addition to measurement of risk factors, ROI and opportunity cost.
Ask Candidates to Show You Their Goods
What’s clear is that the soft skills are what differentiates candidates when it comes to hiring decisions, however screening for this is often the toughest part of the interview.
One of the biggest challenges faced by employers when recruiting people is to ascertain the important skills required for a particular role, yet if you want to get lucky with the right candidates, then this needs to be managed right from the get-go.
However most job advertisements have the "bucket list" of desirable tasks and background requirements yet what they miss the mark on is identifying the transferable skills and intangible aspects - the “soft skills” - required to find, hire, and keep the right people.
A LinkedIn study (Future of Skills 2019) shows that soft skills are increasingly valued. They are seen as key to navigating more automation and AI in the workplace. Together, soft skills and technical skills paint the picture of adaptable, flexible talent ready to steer new demands in their changing roles. It’s their demonstration of these soft skills that will allow you to “get lucky” with the right people who want to join the business.