Recruiting Innovative Employees: The Curiosity Code
Searching for innovative employees? What encourages or deters curiosity in an individual? Learn about this assessment and how it could change your company.
Every company is looking for a way to get ahead in the market, regardless of what they make or the service they provide. Knowing how to do that is reserved for a specific type of employee though. These people are usually innovative, creative, and curious about the world.
They are also a challenge to find, manage, and acclimate to. However, knowing how to hire innovators can elevate your business to new heights.
Keep reading below to learn more about how to identify and hire employees that show potential to change industries.
Innovation Comes as a Result of Curiosity
If you’re looking for innovation, you need to know where to look. Hiring employees that will change your company isn’t a matter of looking in the right universities or markets. It also isn’t a matter of giving offers to leaders in your industry.
You can’t recruit innovative employees just by asking for innovative people to submit applications, either. Instead, you need to identify innovation and talent while evaluating skills. Innovation is a result of other qualities — it isn’t something that can be developed like coding or writing.
Instead, innovative workers’ skills come from their innate curiosity. For them, work isn’t about showing off or even getting a paycheck. Instead, it’s about exploring the world around them and discovering new things.
Innovative employees are curious people, and they have the potential to revolutionize industries:
Where Does Curiosity Come From? It's Complicated
Before learning how to find innovative employees, it’s important to understand where their curiosity comes from. Unfortunately, the origin of curiosity is something that professors cover throughout their whole careers. The basic idea is simple though — curiosity is a form of playfulness.
Children are curious about the world and are eager to learn more about the things surrounding them. Innovative employees managed to protect their inner child, preserving the part of themselves that helps them have fun at work. They’re curious about the tasks given to them.
As adults, curiosity can manifest as more than just playfulness, though. For some people, it manifests as resistance to authority as employees find problematic ways to do things. It can also manifest as obsessiveness, sometimes causing employees to get lost in the finer details of a project.
As a leader, it’s up to you to turn curiosity into innovation however it presents itself.
An Innovative Employee Sees Things Differently
Leaders have a clear vision of the company and what they want out of the world. They are leaders for a reason — they know what they want and how to get it. Innovative employees are not the same; usually, they’re more interested in exploring things instead of getting something.
That difference in perspective can be vital for getting ahead of your competition. Innovative employees can see opportunities that other people may pass by. As long as you give them the chance to explore these new opportunities, they will jump at the chance to join your company:
Innovative Employees Have Different Expectations for You
Since innovative employees have different perspectives on the world, they also have a different perspective of your company. That means they may have different expectations for their coworkers and their bosses. Don’t be surprised if they miss basic parts of what it means to work in an office.
It’s best to have a conversation with them about your expectations for them and to give them a chance to say what they expect out of you. By inviting them to lunch and connecting with them personally, you can also glean some insight into how they approach work.
How to Hire Innovative Employees? Give Them What They Want
The best way to attract innovative employees is to simply give them what they want — freedom. Curious people are usually also creative people, but creativity can also be risky for business. Many times, companies may restrict what employees can do to ensure they don’t jeopardize the company.
This is not the right way to encourage innovation, though. You should instead promise them a certain level of creative freedom and give them the chance to explore what they want to. By doing this, you can guarantee they will want to stick with you.
Being offered creative freedom is rare, and innovative employees will stay with the people that give it to them:
Learning About Someone's Personality Is a Skill
Sometimes, employees want more than freedom and it is your job to identify what they want. Sometimes, they may want to be given a position of power and respect. Other times, they may simply want the chance to work from home.
A pre-employment questionnaire can help you identify what your employees want out of work. It can also help you key into their personalities, helping you lead them more effectively.
Employee Participation Grows Over Time
Work can often be a boring place for average employees, and innovative employees don’t do well in dull places. The best way to get employees to participate more fully in the development process is to make it fun. However, many business leaders forget that fun isn’t just a pizza party.
Fun is unique to the individual, and it can be complex for innovative employees. The good news is that people generally want to have fun, which means innovative employees will look for it in the workplace. Over time, they will find it.
And if you give them enough time and space, they will find increasing amounts of fulfillment in their work. The first challenge is recruiting them, and the second challenge is getting them to stick around. The final one is knowing how to encourage employee participation.
Luckily, this challenge is also the simplest. Just give them time, and work will get more and more fun for them.
Innovative Employees Can Surprise You
Companies should be aware that curious people can often surprise others in a variety of ways. Usually, surprises can come through in their work as they take new approaches to tasks. However, surprises can also come from office relationships or changes to the office environment.
It is up to company leaders to judge whether a surprise from an employee is worth encouraging or not. They need to think about where something is coming from, and where it could lead the company. Encouraging some behavior or practices after an unexpected situation could have massive payoffs.
Creative People Can Improve Your Company
Innovative employees can be your company’s most valuable assets as they approach projects and tasks in ways others may never dream of. They can take your ideas and find new ways to interpret them, eventually making them a reality. To put it simply, they can change the world.
And to find them, companies will need help. That’s what we’re here for. Reach out to us, and we can make sure your next hire helps your company in ways you never expected.