6 Qualities to Look for in a Potential New Hire, Inspired by Marvel Characters
When you have the right people on your staff, your employees become a team of everyday superheroes. Whether they’re solving complex problems or designing more efficient processes, great employees swoop in when and where they’re needed to improve outcomes for the business.
So why not look to Marvel characters like the Avengers for inspiration as you interview prospective hires? You may not get a team capable of saving the world, but you will find prospective employees with traits that will help your business thrive.
Here are six qualities to look for in potential hires, inspired by Marvel characters.
1. Iron Man: Innovative
A good employee will develop inventive ways to get out of a jam, just as Iron Man built his armored suit to evade his captors. Many workers get stuck in routines that blind them to better ways of doing things, but some have endless curiosity and are always looking for ways to improve processes. That leads to new ideas that can change the course of a business for the better. Operational efficiency follows innovative ideas, resulting in lower costs and higher profits for the company.
2. Captain America: Leadership Skills
A great leader puts the needs of the company above their need for personal recognition and values every team member’s contribution. That’s exactly how Captain America manages to lead such a diverse group of superheroes and earn their respect.
Even if you’re not hiring for a management role directly, someone with leadership skills could be very successful at moving up in the company. According to Gallup, only about 10 percent of candidates possess the required attributes to thrive in a leadership role, including the drive to overcome obstacles, the willingness to hold team members accountable, and the ability to cultivate a culture of trust and open communication.
3. Black Panther: Resourceful
A good employee will use existing infrastructure, available resources, and the talents and skills of others to accomplish the goals of their role, just as Black Panther utilizes the resources of Wakanda (i.e., the fictional metal vibranium) to develop new technology.
Resourceful employees can find solutions on their own with less handholding from management, which improves efficiency. They tackle problems with confidence in their self-sufficiency and their imagination. They’ll stay on budget and make the most of what they’re given. Resourceful people often take initiative rather than waiting to be told what to do, which can also drive innovation.
4. Captain Marvel: Persistent
Captain Marvel never gives up, not even after losing her powers and her memories. Similarly, a good employee will overcome setbacks and persevere even when tasks become challenging. Persistent people understand that the biggest accomplishments take time and effort, and they are willing to put in the work. They also tend to be committed to learning and acquiring new skills that can help them succeed, and they are flexible enough to roll with the punches and make adjustments as needed. To find a persistent hire, assess candidates’ future goals and their motivation to reach those goals.
5. Spider-Man: Dependable
“With great power comes great responsibility,” goes Uncle Ben’s famous advice. And indeed, Spider-Man is an incredibly reliable superhero, always showing up to fight local crime the moment he’s needed.
Whether your team is temporarily remote or back in the office full-time, you’ll want an employee who can show up for your company in the same way Spider-Man shows up for his community. A good way to assess how dependable potential candidates are is to reach out to their references and ask. You can also ask the candidate to describe past situations when coworkers depended on them and how they delivered on expectations.
6. Hulk: Emotionally Intelligent
If you’re picturing a fuming employee stomping around the office, Hulk might not seem like great inspiration for hiring. However, Bruce Banner’s attempts to control his anger through meditation and martial arts show the character has a great capacity for emotional intelligence, which is the awareness of and ability to influence the emotions of oneself and others.
Hiring managers understand the importance of emotional intelligence, with one study finding that 71 percent of employers believe emotional intelligence is more important than IQ. That’s because employees with a high degree of emotional intelligence are likely to remain calm during stressful situations (just as Hulk learns to do) and engage in effective conflict resolution. To identify potential employees with a high emotional intelligence during the hiring process, assess each candidate’s ability to take criticism and learn from their mistakes, as well as their level of empathy for their coworkers.
If you’re looking for your next office superhero, these are the traits that indicate a candidate is likely to be the one, regardless of what position you’re hiring for. Many great jobs rely on people who are innovative and resourceful drive the changes that make businesses more successful. Employees who are dependable and persistent tackle challenges more effectively. Emotionally intelligent folks can learn from their mistakes, and effective leaders have the skills to motivate others to do their best work. All of these traits together help improve efficiency, productivity, and working relationships — and that’s good for business.
Lindsay Frankel is a freelance writer for FinanceBuzz.