Key New Hire Traits Include Adaptability and Resiliency

If there’s anything guaranteed, it’s that things will always change. Change is a constant factor in today’s business world. An article from author Rose Mueller-Hanson depicts what organizations need in an employee in this ever-changing workforce. That employee is adaptable and resilient – talent managers need to be effective in screening candidates for these same qualities.

The business world has changed dramatically in the past few years for a multitude of reasons. In order to deal with the changes, organizations need a workforce who can quickly handle change, create innovative approaches to manage change, quickly recover and work efficiently with others from various backgrounds and cultures. The equals workers who are adaptable and resilient.

But what does being adaptable really mean? Put simply, adaptability is the ability to recognize current or anticipated future change and adjust one’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors to effectively handle it. Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from setbacks and remain optimistic in the face of adversity, stress and pressure.

Several studies have been conducted to understand how adaptability requirements differ across jobs. The study shows that there are eight different types of adaptability, with a ninth added by a later, similar study. Adaptability is not one single thing, it is a combination of things. There are several key attributes that can help predict adaptive performance:

Cognitive Skills: This includes several elements such as cognitive complexity, metacognitive skill, frame-changing skill and learning agility.

Social and Emotional Intelligence.

Past Experiences.

Personality is linked to several adaptability factors including one’s achievement motivation, their resiliency, their openness and their emotional stability and regulation. Assessments of these traits can be conducted via questionnaires called biodata inventories or through structured interviews. In these interviews, hiring managers should note an air of self-awareness from the candidate. Simulations are another way to assess adaptability from a candidate.

Today’s dynamic organizations call for employees and leaders at all levels to be open and responsive to complexity, uncertainty and change. As such, adaptability¬† and resilience are critical competencies in the war for talent.

Although adaptability and resiliency cannot be identified through any one test or survey or questionnaire alone, a carefully planned talent selection program can help identify what traits are needed for a specific job. This will help to identify the best candidate with the most potential for the position. To read more about adaptability and resiliency, click here to read the full article.


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