Problem Solving Skills: A Key Element in the Hiring Process

Problem-solving is arguably one of the most universal job skills that someone can cultivate. It’s a skill––or set of skills, really––that can translate across virtually any industry or job role. Unfortunately, while ‘problem solver’ does tend to sound good on a resume, the truth is that not everyone is actually good at solving problems.

That means that new hires who have a demonstrable ability to identify problems and come up with solutions might just be worth their weight in gold.

What is a Problem Solver?

The term problem solver actually encompasses a wide range of skill sets and traits. Naturally observant folks with a high level of emotional intelligence are often very solution-minded.

They tend to watch the world around them and can quickly pick up on potential issues that may present themselves in their environment, and then calmly and systematically develop and implement solutions to fix those problems.

People that are problem solvers are efficient and decisive, adept at weighing pros and cons, and can make good use of their past experiences when brainstorming solutions.

Those qualities also make them excellent leaders, helping them to easily identify problems, come up with solutions, and use the results to adjust the course. Problem solvers are good communicators, a complementary skill that allows them to effectively communicate problems and solutions to the rest of the team.

There is no doubt that problem-solving is a skill that’s extremely attractive when recruiting new talent. Below are a handful of key questions to ask yourself as you begin the evaluation process for your latest recruits.

Do they have a high level of emotional intelligence?
Are they creative thinkers?
Are they good communicators?
Are they dependable?
Are they decisive?
Do they practice active listening?
Are they good at research and analysis?
What about team building?

Asking questions like these can help you determine whether a candidate truly has traits of a problem solver or if it’s just something they thought sounded good on their resume.

Why Hire Problem Solvers?

Every business can benefit from problem solvers. They offer an innate ability to tackle complex challenges and unexpected hurdles with solutions. Businesses face obstacles and hurdles nearly every day, so the last thing you want is team members that create or invite more problems. Solutions-minded people aim to please, no complainers or whiners!

The beauty of problem-solving team members is they don’t just see a problem as a hurdle or obstacle. Sure, they know it’s a ‘problem,’ but they also see opportunity in every challenge. That’s a great mindset to have when growing a business!

Gifted problem solvers can help your business dig deep and discover the root cause of whatever issue your business is struggling with. By quickly identifying the problem, they can then formulate a strategy to fix it. Whether it’s a short-term solution or a long-term solution, the point is––problem solvers have solutions!

Solutions-minded individuals are often perpetual learners and recognize they don’t know everything. They are comfortable asking questions and value input from those around them. They have an innate ability to look at a problem from many different angles, and they are okay with messing up on occasion. They realize that mistakes are a part of growth and the only real mistake is one you didn’t learn from.

Ultimately, problem solvers are integral to the success and growth of every business. If you aren’t sure how to find and hire solutions-minded people, we would be happy to help you! We excel in talent acquisition and would love to assist in finding well-trained, qualified professionals perfectly suited for your business needs. Drop us a line!

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