6 traits of agility readiness: Hiring tips to identify & evaluate

Vidhya Abhijith
May 10, 2020 · 5 min read

Agility starts with the self and can get better with peer harmony. To thrive in a culture of inspired agility, what attitudes do we need to hire for?

To thrive in an “agile ethos” — what signs do you need to look for in people while hiring?

We are living in times, that demand self discipline of individuals to operate in an agile environment, committing to:

  1. Continuously gain self awareness by solving problems at work,
  2. Continuously self improve (reskill / upgrade / broaden / specialize) in alignment with one’s curiosity/quest for knowledge,
  3. Continuously reinvent — oneself, one’s relationship with work & one’s interdependency on others.

Here are 6 signs to observe during an interview, indicating readiness for agility — specifically self management and peer harmony.

CURIOSITY & CREATIVITY

Sample questions:
How do you imagine your role here?
What do you feel passionate about doing, in general?
What makes this role irresistible for you?
How do you see this role expanding to unlock your leadership?
What cross-functional responsibilities you’d like to take up?
If you were to define a leadership role here, how would you do it?

The individual frequently accesses their inherent curiosity, by asking questions to know more about what the business does and articulate what skills they seek to develop at work. Also throughout the conversation, the individual accesses their inherent creativity, to vividly imagine their role — what they can see themselves doing here, what they’d like to do outside their (perceived) role, where they may need support & confirms understanding, passionately.

This is also a sign, the individual is comfortable being authentic. #Authenticity

HOLISTIC THINKING

Sample questions:
How do you apply your ___________ experience to _________ situation?
How do you connect your specialization in ________ to this problem?
What makes you conclude ________?
What makes __________ conclusion relevant for the future?
What values did ___________ adversity point to?
What experience you think didn’t serve any use so far?

When given a role specific challenge to respond to, the individual accesses and applies lessons learnt from academic education & experiences, at various stages of life — tries connecting the dots, to find a holistic answer. The individual tries to rationalize their inferences, based on facts and data from the past — and at the same time makes an attempt to predict its relevance in the future. This reveals the level of conviction one has in their ideas.

This is a sign that the individual is comfortable designing sound counters & consistent in connecting the dots. #Confidence

VALUES & INTEGRITY

Sample questions:
How do you reveal hidden motives in negotiations?
What would make working here a continuous success for you?
How do you feel when a peer doesn’t deliver on a promise?
How do you speak for self & larger interests in ________ situation?
What are your metrics for personal growth?
How does honesty save everyone’s time?

When given situational questions, to respond to — the individual taps into this opportunity to express their personal values / beliefs that reveal how they define growth & success. This also reveals the standards they set for themselves and their expectations from others at work. In agile environments, where one is required to be transparent — it’s important that the individual expresses appreciation for transparency / honesty, empathy / humanity and shared peer trust.

This is an important observation that can help decide if the individual is aligned to the company’s values and is a culture fit. #Integrity

CLARITY & SIMPLICITY

Sample questions:
How would you go about sensing the need in ________ context ?
What solutions can you imagine for _________ need ?
Can you go ahead and breakdown __________ to make it implementable?
What is the first thing you’d do to gain clarity?
What signs indicate useless complication?
How do you eliminate the unnecessary steps in ___________?
Can you explain ________ in layman terms?

The individual strives to seek clarity the moment when something doesn’t appear convincing or evokes a doubt & frames questions / clarifications using simple / colloquial words. Throughout the conversation, the individual seeks simplicity in communication style, uses visual language / styles to express ideas and demonstrates in action, how he/she would go about deconstructing a need and conceiving a solution.

This is a sign, the individual is comfortable breaking down a challenge to a level it appears actionable. #Simplicity

GRATITUDE & HUMILITY

Sample questions:
Who are you grateful for to have taught you ________ value ?
What risks you’re proud of taking?
Can you tell a story of __________ that you’d pass on?
When you feel defenseless, do you prefer wearing confidence or faith?
What behaviors makes a peer worthy of thanks?
How do you apologize, admitting a behavior change?
When would you say “I maybe wrong” to diffuse tension?

When asked about moments the individual is most grateful for, proud of — they show ease in talking about their most vulnerable moments (without hesitation) and who supported them to help them make different choices. They tend to narrate the story with themselves as the main character delving in conflict until help arrives (climax). The individual also reveals events, people and behaviors they feel grateful for, which is an indication to how they may express gratitude to self and peers at work.

This is a sign that the individual is comfortable expressing gratitude, pride and compassion to co-workers. #Humility

DECISIVENESS & FEARLESSNESS

Sample questions:
How many career paths can you imagine now?
What decisions are hard, but consequences worth it?
Can you explain a choice that may cause regret?
List decisions at work you would to take on your own?
How would you draw boundaries to be repel mean behaviors?
Write an algorithm to deal with __________ conflict.
What fears are worth overriding with courage?

The individual accesses their inherent decisiveness to gather as much information as possible during the conversation & tries to rationalize their choices, clearly communicating what decisions they’re likely to make given their current perspective / context of need. Throughout the conversation, the individual demonstrates ‘fearless’ expression of thoughts/emotions and at the same time shows vulnerability of not knowing what could happen.

This is a sign, the individual is comfortable assuming responsibility for their decisions & consequences. #Responsibility

Does this cover all key attitudes for agility?

These are merely the top 6 that can help screen potential candidates for agility readiness. Each organization needs to develop its own unique hiring practice and procedures, to hire for agility. The objective of this article is merely to list broad indicators of a potential match for self improving work environments.

Codewave was founded in 2013, to create an environment of radical transparency, empathy and peer comfort — helping individuals to go on a fearless adventure of knowing what to do, when no-one’s there telling what to do. We continue to be a living, social experiment open to individuals / families / societies / organizations finding self sustainable alternatives to work. We’re thankful to everyone on our journey so far, to have shaped us to be who we are, stay true to our experiment and to who we aspire to become.

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