It’s Not What Employees Know, It’s What They Can Do With Their Knowledge That Counts

Thanks to Google, the world of work is changing fast. It’s no so much about what you know anymore – after all, anybody can log onto a search engine and imbibe a ton of information. Instead, it’s about what you can do with the information you have.


For businesses, this is a crucial distinction. Companies need to focus on recruiting those people who can most effectively use their knowledge in their workplace. Here’s what to look out for.


Trait #1: Action-Oriented


Every team needs a couple of people who always have their heads in books and always want to learn more about the business and the world. The problem is that these types of people aren’t always the most action-oriented – and in the world of business, action counts. According to blogger Ken Sundheim, it’s important that businesses employ people who are willing to take action, even if those actions are risky. Action, he says, can lead to failures, but it can also lead to successes, and help generate new ideas in the company.


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Stagnant employees won’t make your business more money: they’ll just do the minimum to make sure that they take home their paycheck at the end of the month. Action oriented employees will look for new ways to make the company better.


Trait #2: Intelligence


Intelligence isn’t the only reason why people are successful. After all, there are plenty of Ph.D. students who waste their lives in universities, never producing any real value in the world. But it is important for businesses when combined with other personality traits. When approaching recruiters, like Portfolio CBR, it’s okay to be fairly general about your requirements, but not usually intelligence, unless of course, you don’t mind spending long hours micromanaging and proofreading work.


Trait #3: Ambition


Some small businesses are afraid of people with ambition, worrying that they might want to take over the company or set it in a new direction. But it turns out that having ambitious people on your team is actually a good thing. Why? Well, it’s mainly because ambitious people are individuals who want to go places. They want to work hard, move their way up your organization and do a great job, just in case they ever move to another company. Yes, ambitious people might jump ship – but they’re mightily productive while you’ve got them.


Trait #4: Autonomy


Managing people is expensive and a massive drain on your energy, especially if the help that they need is routine. It’s a good idea, therefore, to look for people who display a high degree of autonomy, says Sundheim. Those who are autonomous won’t ask you lots of questions; instead, they’ll move to execute whatever tasks you’ve set them. The people who are most likely to be autonomous are those who have conducted and completed their own projects in the past. Individuals who’ve run their own businesses, for instance, tend to be a safe bet. People who’ve done research projects or who have built products from scratch in the past will also be more able to work by themselves, without significant input.

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