Has it ever occurred that school and work environments are drastically different, and the game plan that helped candidates excel throughout their academic life would not necessarily lead them to find success in their work life?
Bottom line, great students don’t automatically make great employees, especially in Hong Kong where students strive their hardest to get into prestigious universities like HKU and CUHK.
In fact, grades show no shred of one’s character.
We're not trying to discredit the smart people (kudos to you!) or saying that students should not study hard in school. What we're trying to say, is that as employers/hiring managers, you should not overlook a talent just because he/she did not achieve a 4.0 GPA, graduated from a prestigious local University or even skipped the whole University shenanigans as a whole.
With that said, it is crucial to understand that different companies have different needs, different cultures, and different ways of evaluating whether a talent will be a good fit for the team. Besides paper credentials, there're a couple of vital metrics we tend to miss when it comes to assessing "quality" hires.
Get Down and Gritty
One of the qualities we don't hear enough about is grit: To have the spirit of resilience and an unwavering passion for long-term goals. However, it isn't only about an individual’s talent or positivity, but the drive to put in the effort to manifest their dreams into reality, and become the best in their fields.
Imagine this: Two candidates, both with top-notch experience and outstanding training, are applying for the same position. The grittier one will not shy away from thinking outside beyond the box and get off the beaten track. The latter, on the other hand, is more likely to play it safe. Ultimately, missing more significant and more exciting possibilities.
Talents with grit are not disheartened by rejection or failure, but rather are encouraged to try even harder. Not only will they push forward, but their attitude also inspires and motivates their teammates who need that extra push. This makes them a tremendous asset to any team, don’t you agree?
"Fit" Versus "Add"
Culture fit is so 2018, so passé. It is easy to create a "me-too" environment where everyone thinks and acts in the same way.
Culture add, however, paves way for companies to engage talents who can bring an aspect of varying opinions, experiences and skill sets which enhance both the team and the overall company culture altogether. Culture add isn’t just semantics.
We would argue that hiring talents who can add to your culture also champions inclusive thinking. When employees experience the advantages of a diverse team, they will be more inclined to seek other diverse talents to support a continually developing team.
Hence, when more new ideas are born and different communication styles thrive, talents from diverse backgrounds will naturally make a beeline for your company.
Go for the Optimist
Do you believe having a great attitude trumps almost every other factor? We do!
A great confident attitude translates into hard work and a willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done. According to a research, happy employees regularly outperform their peers who don’t share their positive outlook. (We know it can be hard to be "happy" when Hong Kong has the longest working hours in the world.)
To clarify, we're not saying that a candidate has to be happy-go-lucky, but rather someone who has positive energy and vibe that others feel when they interact with them. Moreover, someone that when "bad things" happen, they have that uncanny ability (somewhat like Peter Parker’s sixth sense if you insist) to work through these situations and still find some sort of silver lining in the experience.
You might be surprised at how something as simple as optimistic thinking can empower and encourage us to take decisive action steps. It’s pretty simple: In the face of a challenge, an optimist believes that his/her behaviour matters when it comes to creating positive changes.
More Than Just Grades
Hiring a new employee is always a leap of faith, also known as gut feeling.
Frequently, hiring managers tend to pay more attention than they should to education and skills alone. Don’t be surprised when someone perfect on paper turns out to be less than productive or simply not as good at their job as you might have hoped for.
If you think about it, hiring is hard for the same reason that dating is hard. But that does not mean hiring is entirely hopeless.
Wantedly tip: Don’t hire smart people. Hire smart learners.
Can’t wait to understand more? Let’s have a chat!
Wantedly is a Tokyo-based startup founded in 2010, with the mission to create a world where work drives passion. We do this by connecting like-minded companies and talents based on passion and interest, rather than pay and benefits. We currently have over 30,000 companies onboard and 1.2-mil monthly active users in Japan, and recently launched in Singapore and now we are in Hong Kong!