Recruiting for Mindset

November 18, 2019
November 18, 2019 Joe Britto

Reading time: about 2 minutes.


One question we hear often at Innate Leaders is around mindset and recruiting. How do you recruit people with the right mindset? It’s that question that is the focus of this week’s blog.

Mindset in the Workplace

Before we get to that, let’s take a second to think about why we’d want to recruit people with the mindset our business needs.

On one level, the answer’s obvious: because it’s the mindset our business needs to succeed. But there’s another more subtle point: it’s easier to hire people who are right for our business to start with than shift mindsets after the fact.

Our mindset can be so entrenched that if as a business we’re looking to do something differently, the mindset of the people in our business can make or break that endeavour. If our business is facing a challenge, staff that are willing and able to pivot in their thinking and adapt their behaviours will make navigating that challenge easier.

It’s wonderful if we have staff like that. If we don’t, we’re in the position of working to shift the mindset of existing staff.

Existing Staff & Mindset

In the workplace, you as a leader may be are faced with an employee who is so entrenched in their current mindset they don’t want to shift. The question is: what can you do about that? The answer, nothing if they don’t want to engage, seems defeatist. And while that’s true to a certain extent there are other options.

Placing those people in teams that do hold the mindset we’re looking to encourage allows the person in question to be immersed in a new mindset. Over time they’ll experience the benefits of flexibility of mind, genuine curiosity, and enterprise thinking, let’s say, and see how they can work with it too. Over time in fact, their mindset can shift.

Of course that’s a caring and nurturing approach I advocate even while I understand the limits of time, resources, and effort that may pose for some businesses.

That’s where recruiting for mindset comes into focus.

Recruiting for Mindset

We’re all familiar with recruiting for competencies. Alongside that we may also recruit for “fit” – the idea that someone will be a good match for the existing team and business.

In that same spirit I suggest we can also recruit for mindset.

Let’s say a team already has a leadership mindset. In that case we’d look to recruit someone to maintain and support the existing mindset. But what if the existing team or the business isn’t where we’d like? In that case we recruit for future mindset – the mindset the team and business is growing toward.

How would we do that? It begins by being clear about what mindset we’re looking to develop. Let’s say we’re looking to grow the six attributes with a focus on flexibility of mind and enterprise thinking.

Once we know that, we can craft questions as we would for competency based interviews – with a twist. In the same way we’d ask a candidate to offer an example of how they solved a problem; we might ask how they handled a situation where the needs of the team where in conflict with the needs of the wider business. If your business uses task-focused interviews, we might assess a candidate’s flexibility of mind by asking them to combine two disparate processes into one.

In my experience, recruiting for mindset is an overlooked area for business growth and dynamism. Our people drive our business. Recruiting for mindset allows us to grow the workforce our business needs to succeed.

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What to dive deeper?

Check out The Six Attributes of a Leadership Mindset by Joe Britto

Facing a people challenge?

Our approach starts with an interactive experience. We work with your teams to develop the six attributes of a leadership mindset that enables them to work together, model leadership, and come up with solutions themselves.

Facing a practical challenge?

Our consulting ignites a revolution. It grows the six attributes and operationalises leadership behaviours. Not only do your people have great ideas, they have the mindset to make those ideas succeed.

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