Hiring well is one of the most important things a growing business can do. Making the right call with staffing can multiply your effectiveness, increase your profitability, and open doors. But making the wrong staffing call will just create more problems and more work in the long run. This is why it’s crucial to hire growth-minded employees.
I hired Sam a few years ago. She was a master of her skill, and as a new business leader, I was excited to have someone that I didn’t need to spend days training on our programs and processes. She could hit the ground running.
But then, a few months in, we needed to change and adapt to our growing business and client needs. She was unable to do so. She knew what she knew, and it seemed that is all she would allow herself to do. I had to decide if I was to let her go, along with all of the time, money, and resources I had invested in her, or if I was to hold out hope that she would eventually adapt, throwing more time, money, and resources into her.
It was a tough call. What would you have done?
My final decision doesn’t matter as much as knowing what I should have done from the beginning. I was hiring my team members for the wrong reasons. I was looking for quick fixes instead of people that would return my investment in them by investing in the business.
Do You Have Growth-Minded Or Fixed-Minded Employees?
“Someone with a growth mindset believes that skill development and talent are derivatives of personal will and effort. Conversely, the evil counterpart of the growth mindset is the fixed mindset, which believes that success is a personally defining label. So, if one is considered “smart” then any criticism that threatens his or her intelligence is a threat because it takes away from his or her self-defined success.” – Entrepreneur
Who do you currently have on your team? Let’s set a few parameters to help you assess your talent:
Growth-minded team members love taking on challenges, learning new things, and don’t limit themselves to what’s listed on their job description. They think big picture but also care about the small details. They know the future is undetermined, but they’re excited about the journey. Most importantly, growth-minded people believe they can expand their skillsets through hard work and overcoming challenges.
On the other hand, fixed-minded team members believe their talents are what they are, and they won’t change. They’re often nervous to try new things or take on challenges because they’re worried about not being good enough. When they’re faced with challenges, they say, “I’m quitting. This isn’t coming easily to me. I’m not good at it.” They truly believe they can’t improve and that’s that. There’s no changing.
As a business leader, you have a decision to make about your hiring process.
Finding employees with a growth mindset is the best way to scale your business for success in the future. You want people that can tackle challenges without micromanagement, who can learn from their setbacks and can continue to progress. As your industry grows and evolves, your team needs to grow and evolve with it. Let’s find those great people and make them a part of your team.
How to Unveil Growth-Minded Talent in the Hiring Process
Asking the right questions during the interview process can reveal who your growth-minded candidates are. Here are a few key questions to ask and what to look for when hiring for your growing business.
1. “Tell me about a professional failure you experienced?”
This common interview question can tell you quite a bit about your potential new hire. If they answer with, “I’ve never had a professional failure,” an immediate red flag should fly high in your mind. Everyone makes mistakes. And mistakes help us create meaningful learning lessons to grow and improve ourselves. You should also be on the lookout for candidates that explain a mistake that another team member made that impacted them. This is another red flag that signals they aren’t the best team player and don’t own up to their own mistakes.
When asking this question, you’re looking for a specific mistake they made, how they learned from it, and how they do things differently because of it. If they answer the question in this format, you are staring at a person with a growth mindset. This person will make mistakes under your leadership, but they will grow and improve not only themselves but also your business because of it.
2. “How do you regularly better yourself?”
Another way to frame this question is, “What have you learned in the past year that you didn’t know 12 months ago?” This type of question reveals self-awareness and gives you an example of how they intentionally grow and push themselves. If they work on bettering themselves, you can be sure they will work on bettering your business once they are a part of the team.
Is the interviewee aware of their development so far? Are they aware of the skills they need to achieve the next step in their career? Look for answers that show they actively seek ways to improve themselves – both professionally and personally. Let the conversation progress during the interview, sometimes the small commentary can give you big insight into their character and who they are as professionals.
3. “How do you receive feedback?”
Knowing how potential team members prefer to receive feedback is crucial to find out early. Not only does a consistent feedback loop lead to a productive employee-manager relationship, but it also sets the expectation to address a concern as it comes up, not when it’s time for the annual review. Addressing this question during the interview process helps understand how the potential employee likes receiving feedback, so you both can hit the ground running.
Read the interviewee’s body language when you ask this question. Do they seem uncomfortable? Anxious? Or excited that you asked the question? Valuable team members know the importance of giving and receiving feedback – no matter how uncomfortable the conversation may seem. Aim to find the candidates that are excited and open to feedback.
Why Your Business Needs Growth-Minded Employees
Jim Collins, author of First Who, Then What notably says, “The good-to-great leaders understood three simple truths. First, if you begin with “who,” rather than “what,” you can more easily adapt to a changing world.”
Hire the right people – those who are ready to go on a business journey with you and your company. The future is always unknown and your company will have to pivot. But if you hire the right team members, those who are growth-minded, then you’ll adapt and achieve your business goals.
If you’re curious where your team stands now, download our High-Performance Teamwork Assessment. It’s a self-assessment that each member of your team should complete. It’s interesting to analyze the results and to assess what type of team you have working to elevate your business.
Need help to determine the best plan of action to move your team forward? We’re here to help.