Innovation in the business doesn’t come from the company and its policies. It is employees who bring in innovation. It not only requires a different mindset to do things differently but is also mandatory to possess the required skillset. Innovating ideas is vital for the long-term success of the company. Candidates possessing innovative ideas and experience contribute to a successful company.
Let us look at the traits of such employees.
1. Neither constant yes-masters nor constant nay-sayers
An employee who cannot challenge the status quo is not well-suited for the innovating team. An employee who can’t say no when required doesn’t fit into the innovation team quite well.
While the employees who constantly say no impede the innovation. They have a negative attitude which can stifle innovative ideas
2. Independent and long-race runners
Innovation takes time to bear fruits. It’s not an over-the-night task. Working on new ideas, products, and processes takes time. It involves multiple iterations, failures, experiments, etc. Innovators are like marathon runners who are persistent as well as independent. To work on original and creative ideas, innovation require independent thinkers who can take initiative.
3. Creative thinkers with excellent communication skills
One of the most vital ingredients of innovation is creativity. The candidate must be a creative thinker and rigorous implementer to take innovation to a fruitful end. For any innovation to succeed, it must be communicated well to every stakeholder. So, excellent communication is significantly important.
4. Cross-sector experience holder
It is one of the crucial traits which allow creative thinkers to think beyond the conservational approach to the problem. Working in the same sector for a long time brings in rigidity to look above the predefined ways. It is detrimental to innovation.
Other characteristics are:
- More curiosity and less judgemental
- Problem-solver & Problem-finder
- Action takers
What companies must do to show they value innovative candidates?
Demonstrate the capabilities of the companies and how the company is willing to innovate. Most companies do that but the picture changes after candidates are hired. So, demonstrate how your company welcomes innovation in your daily business cycle.
Pay has become another measure to check the innovation. Low salaries don’t attract top talents in any industry. So, you must be ready to pay appropriately for the talent. Rather than just looking at the salary you are paying, try looking in terms of ROI.
Though ROI calculation is not a comprehensive parameter, it gives you a short-term view. Innovators often impact your business culture and have the potential to change several business practices. Such impacts are beyond ROI calculation.
You may judge these out-of-the-box thinkers as eccentric. But this eccentricity makes them good at what they do. So, be respectful of their eccentricity and give them space to innovate for you.
Good ideas are wasted if there is no one to listen to them. People who are good at innovation games require listening ears to appreciate their point of view and get feedback about their solution/product. It instills confidence in them and will attract them.
Welcome the change:
Be open-minded to see a change in company culture. Don’t be offended when someone challenges your legacy. Be open to listening to why and how an innovative solution is better for your company. If you feel offended by this, it will send in the wrong signal of inflexibility to the innovators.
There is no fixed set of traits an innovator must possess. For hiring someone as an innovator, soft skills are equally important as hard skills. As a company, some of the above-mentioned pointers can attract innovators to your company. Hiring innovators is essential as any innovation in the industry is brought in by the employees, not by the companies.
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