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Why Mindset Is the Key To A Successful Long-Term Hiring Strategy

  • December 04, 2020
Author: Mark Gill, Managing Director

What if there was one factor that would determine the success of your next team member more than almost any other. What if it was not based on industry knowledge, connections, qualifications or intelligence? What if it were something that could be ingrained in your organisation and used as a tool to attract the best talent, allowing you to drive your business to new heights. 

Well Mindset is that magic ingredient. The psychologist Carol Dweck popularised mindset training in her book The New Psychology of Success. The premise is that our conscious and unconscious thoughts play a huge part in our ability to learn, grow and succeed.

Her theory reveals that mindset can be either, growth or fixed. People can fluctuate between these two states, but a fixed mindset person believes that their intelligence, personality, and abilities are fixed. Whilst growth mindset individuals have a strong desire to learn, they persist in the face of setbacks, and learn from criticism. Ultimately, they view effort as a growth opportunity, allowing them to achieve better results.

So, when it comes to mindset in the recruitment process how do you ensure that you attract the right people. Well having a growth mindset within an organisation is a great starting point. Are mistakes routinely covered up? Are a few top performers alone constantly held up for recognition of their success?

Companies can be inadvertently fostering a fixed mindset by focusing too heavily on performance-based goals rather than learning outcomes. That’s not to say that those top performers shouldn’t be acknowledged or rewarded. It simply means that developing a culture where there is focus on the process as well as the result will make for a more harmonious team where everyone can grow.

A successful organisation will work hard to create an environment where everyone shares in its success. With team rather than individual bonuses, a commitment to ongoing learning and a safe environment to give and receive constructive criticism.

To ensure that your team can operate from a place of growth and attract those that will do the same -one of the most important factors is to have a culture where there is a learning culture. An organisation where leaders are not afraid to share their mistakes and what they learned from them will encourage others to do the same. Company culture must embrace change and be willing to reward learning as well as positive outcomes.

Does your company place a high value on training? In tough economic times learning can be the first resource to be cut. Continued learning is vital if you want to encourage your existing team and those joining you to move into a growth mindset.

When creating job adverts it is vital to detail the training and development opportunities that your company offers. Individuals with a growth mindset will be attracted to organisations that offer them the opportunity to continue learning.

At Headway we are fortunate enough to work with Virgin Money. They are an organisation that genuinely embrace training and development. As part of their strategy to attract and develop those individuals with a growth mindset they offer learning opportunities in a variety of ways. From bite-sized learning to lunchtime lectures, development is key. It goes back to Sir Richard Branson’s belief in giving every employee the chance to progress – personally, and professionally. 

You don’t need the budget of a Virgin Group to create an environment where everyone strives to be in growth mindset. It comes back to the starting point for all good recruitment strategy – purpose. See my previous article on purpose.

When everyone is clear about the why of the business many of the factors leading to individuals adopting a growth mindset become easier. For example, it is easier to embrace challenges head-on when you are truly behind your organisations purpose. Knowing the positive impact your work makes in the wider world means you are more likely to overcome setbacks, put in more effort, and find inspiration in the success of others. We see this with another purpose driven client - Victim Support. Once people join their team they work tirelessly often way above their contracted hours as they are bought into the purpose of helping people feel safer allowing them to find the strength to move beyond crime. This puts them naturally in the growth mindset of viewing challenges as opportunities and persisting in the face of setbacks knowing what difference they are making in the world.

So mindset alone is not enough. I obviously would not want to be operated on by a surgeon with no qualifications but a willingness to receive constructive criticism! There are many factors to consider when developing a successful long-term hiring strategy; company purpose, adoption of technology, psychometric profiling, and Inclusivity to name a few. However, an organisation that prioritises a growth mindset culture and communicates it effectively will always have the best chance of attracting the brightest individuals in their sector.

Mindset training is the final element of Headway’s INSIGHT recruitment process. Find out more here