If you have ever been in a position where you were tasked with making hiring decisions, you understand how frustrating the process can be at times. The costs associated with on-boarding a new employee often brings great pressure to the hiring manger who wants to ensure the employee will work out and bring value to the organization. Figuring out who will “work out” however, can seem like a daunting task when you only have the information on a resume to go on. There is no magic formula or worksheet that will tell you who to hire, but there is a trait can help you make a better decision: coachability.
What is coachability?
We define coachability as an individuals propensity to be open to change, develop self-awareness, be motivated to achieve goals and have a willingness to learn.
How do you find out if they are coachable? Ask if they have been coached. What has been their experience with coaching? Are they receptive to coaching? On the other side of the table, job seekers should be proud to put coaching on their resume as a sign of their willingness to develop and improve.
Regardless of what industry you are in, coachability is a great trait to look for when hiring. Why? Coachability doesn’t confer any special technical skills or industry know-how, but it does indicate a set of traits that generally make for good employees.
Being open to change
Being open to change is a core trait for coachability. Whether it is personal change or organizational change, being open to the new possibilities that change can bring is very important. It means a potential hire has the ability to orientate and adapt to your culture and ways of doing business.
People who are coachable are self-aware or are willing to develop their self-awareness. They have the want and aptitude to create awareness around their strengths, weaknesses, emotions, patterns and behaviors and how these traits impact their results.
Employees with a propensity for self-awareness are also ahead of the curve towards becoming leaders. A leader’s ability to identify, assess and control their emotions and behaviors enables them to better manage relationships, conflicts, and create desired outcomes.
In general, people who are coachable are also motivated. Effective coaching requires that the person being coached have enough motivation to try new things, form new habits, and be dedicated to the process. People who lack motivation aren’t going to be very inclined to seek out coaching, or to stick with it. So if you find a new hire candidate that seems to have a high degree of coachability, more than likely they are also highly motivated to succeed and to over deliver value to the organization.
Motivation is a great trait in a new hire. Motivation can pull a new hire through the first couple weeks, or months, as they get their feet under them and learn the ropes. Motivation can also push a new hire to try harder, work longer, and stick it out. Motivation can also separate the good employees from the great.
Willingness to Learn
Probably the greatest reason to hire for coachability is because it indicates a willingness to learn. Coaching is all about learning new behaviors, learning to think in new ways, and learning skills that you didn’t previously possess. If a new hire candidate has a high degree of coachability, they are probably open and willing to learning new things. A willingness to learn, in turn, usually indicates a natural flexibility. If someone has a willingness to learn it demonstrates that they are willing to take advice, try new ways of thinking, and are open to modifying their behavior/ways of thinking.
Don’t Just Hire for Technical Skills
Technical skills, work experience, and background are all incredibly important when hiring a new employee. However, hiring for coachability as well can help you find those individuals with the traits necessary to becoming long-term valuable members of your organization.
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