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Employees Should Screen for Creativity in New Hires

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hard skills have always been easier to gauge than soft skills, but employers looking to hire creative, outside-the-box problem solvers should first consider candidates with strong senses of curiosity. Curious employees tend to come up with more creative solutions to organizational issues, and one of the best ways to measure a potential employee’s curiosity is through a personality test. Research from Oregon State University shows that people who showed strong curiosity traits on personality tests generally performed better when tackling creative tasks, and these individuals were more likely to come up with creative solutions to problems. This research contributes to a growing body of evidence that suggests testing for curiosity may be in an employer’s best interest, especially if the position they are trying to fill involves complex problem solving. Having an employee who can adapt to a changing environment and learn new skills is becoming increasingly important in today’s evolving marketplace, however, more often than not, employers are not actively screening for curious and creative individuals to fill these roles. “This research suggests it may be useful for employers to measure curiosity, and, in particular, diversive curiosity, when hiring new employees,” according to Jay Hardy, an assistant professor in OSU's College of Business and lead author of the study.

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