The sourcing and development of innovative ideas is intrinsic to a company’s long-term success. Innovation is found in every aspect of business practice, from improving processes to revealing new products that change how a consumer moves through daily life.
Access to shifting and dynamic, smart technology has increased rivalry in already competitive markets while opening up knowledge-sharing and trading opportunities. The internet is a sea of boundless information where consumers become easily overwhelmed and must be targeted with specific data and innovation that doesn’t waste their time or money.
Hiring managers must keep innovation in mind when reviewing candidates. Candidates possessing innovative qualities and experience contribute to a successful company, directly impacting work culture, business practices, market position and returns on investment, among others.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
Hiring managers look for candidates with proven experience, who work well under pressure, to produce dynamic solutions that will get the job done. Experience doesn’t appear out of thin air, nor does money grow on trees.
However, hiring for innovation means recruiting candidates who possess innovative qualities rather than one or two potentially lucky high sales. Does the candidate have an eclectic way of thinking, presenting information or creatively approaching solutions? Innovative qualities, like curiosity, are underrated but reveal a candidate who will push projects and uncover unorthodox ways of thinking in business.
Look at the methods and processes behind the professional. A candidate with innovative traits will love to learn, presenting some of the following personality aspects:
- Visionary insight
- Boundless curiosity
- Excitement for new ideas
- A passion and eye for details
- A nerd for nuanced “hacks” and processes
- Creative approaches, hobbies or skills
- Multidisciplinary skillset or way of thinking
- Unafraid to ask “What if?”
When a candidate has a track record of innovative successes, begin asking questions to learn their approach. Innovative qualities will present themselves. Everyone has luck once-in-a-while, but a proven professional will possess inherent innovative qualities, just as a “green” candidate might.
Innovation isn’t about the big breakthroughs. Innovation comes in small steps and attention to detail. Focus on quality over quantity to ensure that a recruit will be able to contribute innovation beyond luck.
Failure to keep up with the times risks a company’s downfall, and motivational speakers typically reference “staying ahead of the game” to win in business. However, using these two mindsets as motivation to stay on top are also dangerous to company growth and success.
Hiring managers and CEOs must not become lost in keeping up only to lose candidates to organizations focused on innovation as a vital quality and component of “winning.” Hiring for innovation will directly benefit companies in the following ways:
- Create Positive Work Culture with Engaged Employees
In a Gallup report conducted in 142 countries among some 180 billion employees, it was found that only 13% of employees are engaged in the office, while 63% aren’t engaged at all and 24% are “actively disengaged” and more likely to promote negative work culture by spreading rumors and dissent.
Seniors in a company must encourage innovation within the ranks while hiring candidates with innovative qualities. An innovative work culture keeps employees on their toes and interested in and proud of the work they’re producing. In return, this environment leads to higher performance and other improvements. Employers can encourage innovation by asking for feedback and ideas from staff with an open door policy.
- Increase Your Position in A Competitive Market
Small innovative steps in how the company measures and tracks data, for example, can lead to anticipating market shifts faster. The company is in a better position to respond and jump ahead of an opportunity.
Innovation assists a company with discerning its unique offerings and sets it apart from the competition, leading to forward-thinking developments in a niche market. When a company thinks of itself as visionary, its gaze opens to what other companies are doing on a worldwide scale and encourages inspiration.
- Eliminate Waste and Unnecessary Costs
Innovative business practices allow companies to focus on their long-term goals, rather than getting caught up in setbacks that aren’t being resolved. The best forms of innovation come in small steps to create and revise processes that optimize how a company, its staff and products function.
Innovation and operational efficiency can go hand-in-hand: For example, a company could apply innovative operational efficiency updates such as reducing staff idle time, streamlining order processes and removing underutilized machinery. Eliminate waste and unnecessary costs by focusing on the details and hiring candidates with an innovative mindset to catch what needs to shift in opportune times.
By hiring for innovation, companies invest in their long-term success to directly impact work culture, business practices, market position and eliminate waste and prohibitive costs. Innovation is born in the details, and companies are wise to look closely for this quality in future recruits and among existing staff to ensure growth and relevancy in constantly changing markets.