Part 5: Curiosity
The process of finding the right candidate to fit an opening in your company is complex, arduous, and often stressful. However, after 18 years in the executive search business, I have identified five key components of the employer/employee relationship that, when given the proper consideration, can simplify the hiring process and increase your chances of securing a successful, long-term hire by up to 50%.
Using what I call “The Five C’s for a Successful Hire,” I coach both my clients and prospective candidates to focus on three base-level requirements (compensation, competency, and community), as well as two higher-level considerations (chemistry and curiosity).
In this installment, I’ll concentrate on the fifth C: curiosity.
Match Your Curiosity Quotient
Curiosity is one of the most highly prized traits in employees today. However, different companies value different types of curiosity and utilize it to different degrees. When you’re considering a potential candidate, make sure that their curiosity quotient (in other words, their passion for and commitment to learning new things) is a fit for your company’s interest in and commitment to growth and innovation. If their curiosity outpaces your company’s, they can quickly feel stagnant and underchallenged. However, if they are complacent where your company is reaching forward, they cannot be as effective in helping you innovate and grow your business.
There needs to be a careful balance between vision and execution; an employee’s personal curiosity and passion need to be aligned with the overall vision of your company, but it’s also important to consider how each party believes that vision should be brought to life.
Command and Control vs. Create and Orchestrate
When vision is translated into execution, there are new factors to consider. Beyond its broader implications for your company’s growth and innovation efforts, a candidate’s curiosity affects his or her day-to-day work quality and productivity. A highly curious person might thrive best in an environment where experimentation is encouraged and oversight is limited (what we call a “create and orchestrate” work environment); however, some people work best when there are regulations and layers of management that emphasize structure and provide consistent guidance and feedback (or a “command and control” environment).
Discuss your company’s operations and management style with potential employees to determine if there’s a good fit. Does your company encourage collaboration and communication across internal groups, or do you prefer for teams to focus on their own specific challenges? Clarifying expectations on both ends can improve job satisfaction and therefore employee engagement, as well as retention rates and even your bottom line.
While there is no exact formula for recruiting, hiring, and retaining top talent, placing careful consideration on The Five C’s is an excellent starting point. In this way, you can demonstrate to potential employees that when they come to work for your company, they’re not just accepting a new job – they’re pursuing excellence.