I look after a few agencies, one of which is a young, digital agency called MRM. The average age of our team is 26 years, and they are passionate, creative, and eager to learn! That’s why I offer my “Thursday Ten,” a quick leadership snack every Thursday. This week, one of my leaders collected new questions from the group so I shared the 3 characteristics I look for when hiring.

3 Characteristics I Look for When Hiring Emily Chang

Are they curious?

People who are interested to learn and who boldly ask questions place themselves on an accelerated learning curve. If you’re willing to be brave enough to raise your hand, demonstrate vulnerability in not knowing… you will be the first to learn new things. Also, you will capture leaders’ attention as someone who is inquisitive and hungry.

A question was raised after my recent TEDx talk: “How can I get the most out of my classes?” My answer was to be brave in your learning! And as you do, you will gain more opportunities for growth and visibility.

3 Characteristics I Look for When Hiring - Curiosity

Do they persevere through challenge?

I look for those who don’t easily give up, who pursue opportunity like it’s the last bus of the night! Because those who demonstrate resilience and grit tend to be creative and driven… a brilliant combination! Another outstanding formula are the under appreciated values of doggedness and discipline; for instance, they enabled the Wright Brothers to soar.

There’s a trending phrase in China right now, 躺平 – “lying flat.” People who are exhausted by the nonstop hours and stress are laying down and giving up.

躺平 Tang Ping Lying Flat

Don’t get me wrong, we all need to care for our wellness and downtime is critical to our physical and mental stamina. But those who have learned how to both care for themselves and self-motivate to get back up are more likely to succeed, and break through barriers. And when you do, you will be the first in line for new opportunities and promotion!

Are they interesting?

At Apple when we recruited, we always said we looked for the most interesting people. Why? If you have extracurricular interests, you bring a new perspective to your daily work. Also, those who have identified myriad ways to feed their soul tend to be self-aware and passionate!

3 Characteristics I Look for When Hiring - Interesting

And the more interesting people, the better! Because diversity is not a box to check, it’s a business strategy. And we’re stronger when we surround ourselves with interesting, unique points of view.

Final thoughts.

Integrity is absolutely foundational and humor is a delicious cherry on top! After all, we spend a lot of hours together, struggle together and journey together. Those who have fun together enjoy their work more, and create an awesome workplace environment. What characteristics do you look for when hiring?

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