7 Innovative Traits to Spot in Your Next New Hire

Have you ever wondered how to spot the best traits in your next potential new hire? Read on to learn more!


Angela Ash

2 years ago | 4 min read

Nowadays, it is more difficult than ever to find the right people capable of and willing to take on the challenges as they come. The reason lies in a simple fact: everyone has gone crazy about innovation.

The ability to take risks and rise even stronger when they don’t pay off is the key feat of a talented employee. But, this is by no means the only desirable treat in people working in innovative environments in the midst of a digital transformation.

Because innovation directly clashes with the traditional business model, executives often look for the wrong mindsets when hiring new employees. It is, therefore, important to realize that fast-paced business environments today call for talented people capable of addressing every rapid change that comes their way, as well as a stellar performance improvement plan.

The best way to understand this is by listening to startup founders. Because startups function as families, people engaged in them are no strangers to shared successes and failures. What keeps them going is their understanding that failures are there to encourage them to do better, not to tell them it’s time to give up.

Different startup founders look for different traits in their employees, in accordance with their business vision. However, there are some traits universal to all creative, lateral thinkers, which every business would do good to observe when hiring new people.

1. Enthusiasm for Diversity

Perhaps not the first trait to look for a new hire, but definitely one of the essential ones is enthusiasm for diversity and cultural learning.

Because diversity is what drives innovation, people valuing it are of extreme importance for a business. The best results come in response to a multitude of ideas, and it is only natural to expect that people with different backgrounds and experiences will have different ideas.

2. High Standards

People who set high standards for themselves are, in the majority of cases, innovators. Even if their standards seem ridiculously high, you should take it as a good sign.

Simply put, people who aim high will stop at nothing to reach their goals and will always give their best to achieve the desired results. To achieve that, they will use their creativity, often applying non-traditional methods rarely seen in old-school business models.

Probably the most important trait of such people is that they rarely get discouraged. Negativity is the single most important drawback when it comes to the entrepreneurial mindset, as it keeps people away from risks, and risks are the most important factor in innovation.

3. Action-Taking

Following from the previous sentence, risks are synonymous with innovation. Simply having high standards and being creative isn’t sufficient for breakthroughs.

Action-takers are just the people you need in your organization. These people will go the extra mile to turn their ideas into reality, no matter how risky the situation.

The easiest way to spot this feat is by asking your prospective hires about their expectations. If they are content with doing their jobs from 9 to 5 to get their salaries and bonuses, they are not the right people for your business.

Always keep in mind the startup mindset, which includes people acting as families, working together towards mutual goals and always striving for better results, even if the present ones are stellar.

4. Result-Orientation

People who are more interested in great results than in their salaries are the right people for your business. That isn’t to say, however, that they should be underpaid or that they would be happy with just any amount of money.

It goes without saying that salaries should be in line with employees’ performances, even if it sounds unequal at first glance.

There is a significant difference, though, between people stopping at nothing to get a raise and people stopping at nothing to achieve better results. The latter is not necessarily driven by the idea of a promotion.

Innovative people take pride in their achievements for the sake of the achievements, not money.

This mindset is in direct contrast with the traditional business mindset that teaches people that risks aren’t worth taking, especially if things are going well at the moment.

5. Creative Thinking

If you’ve been following so far, it should be easy for you to conclude that people thinking outside the box are not only desirable, but also necessary for businesses that aim to succeed in competitive environments (and all of them do).

Simply put, innovative people are dreamers by vocation. Their vision drives them to take any risks necessary to achieve their dreams, which may well seem impossible and unrealistic to others.

Some people will know how to go about it, while others will need support, as they may have not been given the chance to play out their plans. It goes without saying that support and funds should be provided to them.

6. Originality

Outstanding ideas are not a common occurrence. People capable of coming up with them are original and non-traditional. You will easily spot them by observing how they work. No matter how impossible their ideas appear to be, they will make them appear easy to achieve. After all, did we ever think we'd have electric cars?

7. Team Orientation

Now, we’ve heard many times how important it is to organize workshops and team buildings in which every employee will get their say, and be ready to embrace recovery and avoid burnout.

It’s true!

When people get along, everyone will enjoy their work. On top of that, everyone will get to contribute. In this way, teams will share successes and failures, thus deepening their bond.

Innovators are team-oriented and willing to include everyone in the idea development process. The attitude makes everyone a part of a big family working on shared goals and the company’s vision. This means that your team can be in-office, remote-based, or even working as digital nomads.

Of course, these are only some of the innovative traits, but definitely among the most important ones. You will want to keep in mind that people willing to embrace a company’s vision are those who can share that enthusiasm across the board, even with intense roles. In that way, everyone will start actively participating in business efforts, growing with the business while it is growing with them. Everything considered, looking for innovative people is well worth the trouble of searching for them high and low. After all, it is such people that will ultimately drive your company forward.

Portions of this article originally appeared on


Created by

Angela Ash

Angela Ash is a writer at heart, focusing on numerous topics related to business, productivity, mental health, travel and more. But, she also loves to edit, is addicted to HARO, and somehow finds time to write poetry and play the piano.







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