In a recent article on Business Insider, Drake Baer took a look at Leonardo da Vinci and pointed out why successful people often develop their career paths in a similar way as the original Renaissance Man did. The article pointed out that da Vinci wore several different job hats at one time, essentially making himself, to use today’s terminology, a portfolio worker. Any employer, especially a small business owner, would love to have a modern Leonardo da Vinci on staff, but it can be a little tricky trying to identify the kinds of people who can be that sort of employee.
But how do you hire an employee that can turn into somebody special within your company? How do you know who to target? It’s common to hire people based on their skill set, but there’s another way to measure applicants that might help you better identify high potential talent. Rather than reading lists of skills and wondering how they’ll translate to the job you’re looking to fill, look at personality traits. Most often skills that an individual develops are born out of their personality traits.
Let’s look at Leonardo da Vinci once more. The man was a brilliant inventor, a painter, a strategist, a physician, a geologist, an engineer, and architect, a cartographer, and much more. It’s a wide range of skills that da Vinci possessed, but those skills stem from a couple of common personality traits: curiosity and challenging. Leonardo da Vinci was a very curious man who continually challenged himself to discover and master new things. From two core personality traits, da Vinci was drawn to develop many skills that ultimately defined him as a genius and pioneer in multiple fields.
Think about the best salesman you know. If you were to list some of their skills, you would probably list their abilities to listen, present, resolve concerns, and follow up. These skills are rooted in a pair of common traits: personable and responsive. A personable person knows how to listen well, respond appropriately, and help people with their concerns. A responsive person will not fail to follow up on leads, meetings, or opportunities. A strong salesman should be personable and responsive.
Look for traits that will give birth to the skill sets you want in new hires, especially if you’re not in a position to hire an already established industry veteran. When hiring or promoting employees from within your company, don’t be afraid to focus on personality over skill. Over time skills can develop, but personalities rarely do. Below are some commonly desired business skills paired with some of their related personality traits.
No matter what personality traits or skills you’re looking to target in new hires, it’s important that you project a professional image. For entrepreneurs or small operations, it’s best to meet your potential employees in a professional setting. Skip the coffee shop or lunch interview and set up a meeting in a professional business center. You can rent a meeting room by the hour through Davinci Meeting Rooms in over 1,000 locations worldwide, making it easy to find a convenient location that is sure to impress talented job seekers.
Don’t look for your in-house Leonardo da Vinci in a dark corner of a crowded coffee house; put forth the image that is worthy of your company and your brand and give them confidence in your business image and identity from the moment you first meet.