Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Curiosity - do you hire for it?

In our modern hierarchical structures, we've boiled our entry and mid-level positions into a discreet set of tasks. The temptation is to believe that our primary job as hiring managers is to find someone competent at checking the boxes of an open job description, making sure they're a good cultural fit and rushing as fast as possible in order to fix the leak on your team with a warm body.

Of course, simplifying the task of hiring in this way overlooks a crucial skill: curiosity. I would argue that it's the most important skill for a brand manager. You can compensate for numerous gaps on a brand manager's resume with training and mentorship. Financials, project management and even data analysis can all be taught, but curiosity seems innate. If a person doesn't have a lust for information, learning and adventure, how do you create it? It's not an easy thing to do.

Even worse, once your entry or mid-level marketer rises through the ranks to management, a lack of curiosity will cripple your organization's ability to innovate and think outside of the traditional box. It's obvious that organizations don't become successful with restrained, unimaginative thinkers.

The next time you have a vacancy on your team, give yourself permission to breathe and find someone with curiosity. When you interview, ask them about what they're reading and probe into how they stay in-the-know with the latest trends and culture. It's worth the extra emotional investment, for sure.

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