According to Elon Musk, when it comes to identifying and hiring high-performing employees, skills matter more than a college degree. While speaking at the US Air Force Space Pitch Day in 2019, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX revealed some interesting information on how his companies hire new talent. "Generally, look for things that are evidence of exceptional ability. I don't even care if somebody graduated from college or high school or whatever..." he said. "Did they build some really impressive device? Win some really tough competition? Come up with some really great idea? Solve some really tough problem?"
Building on Mr Musk's mantra of hiring people with "evidence of exceptional ability", Greg Isenberg, CEO of Late Checkout, has expanded upon 13 non-obvious habits to look for while hiring potential employees.
"13 non-obvious habits to look for in hiring high performing employees," Mr Isenberg said in the first tweet of his viral thread, which has racked up thousands of 'likes' since being shared earlier this week.
Here are the 13 habits that employers should look for in potential employees:
1.People who take notes: According to Mr Isenberg, copious note-taking is a sign of focus. "You'll miss a finite detail and the notes will help you remember instantly," he wrote.
1/ People who take notorious notes— GREG ISENBERG (@gregisenberg) June 8, 2021
Notes notes. Even your notes should have notes
Notes are the closest thing that humans have to time travel
You'll miss a finite detail and the notes will help you remember instantly
If you want to be more focused, focus on note taking
2.People who can take feedback: "Low performers can't take feedback," wrote Mr Isenberg. "Average performers take feedback and attempt to integrate it," he said, whereas high performers seek feedback and integrate it as essential to their success.
3.People who write well: Because writing well means clear thinking and empathy. "You can't make work happen if you can't write well," wrote the CEO of Late Checkout.
3/ People who write well— GREG ISENBERG (@gregisenberg) June 8, 2021
You can't make work happen if you can't write well
It doesn't matter if you're a designer, engineer or marketer, you'll always have points to get across
Writing well means:
1) Clear thinking
Writing-well moves mountains
4.People who lift others up: Professional life can be full of challenges, so people who will encourage and lift each other up.
5.People who aren't hyper productive every single day: "You cannot be hyper productive everyday. It's unsustainable... Sustainable workers outperform," wrote Mr Isenberg.
6.People who listen well: Here, he expanded upon the RASA framework. Read about it below:
6/ People who listen well— GREG ISENBERG (@gregisenberg) June 8, 2021
Listeners make others feel valued
Remember the RASA framework:
- Receive: focus your attention on what the person is saying
- Appreciate: show signs of appreciation
- Summarize: sum up in a few words what the person was telling you
- Ask a question
7.People who smile and laugh often: "Practice safe stress," he quipped.
8.People with an "us" mentality (not a "me" mentality): According to Mr Isenberg, everyone loves a team player, and employees who understand this are an asset to their company.
9.People who are allergic to excuses: High-performing employees know how to apologise after they have made a mistake.
10.People who aren't afraid to ask quality questions: "Better questions lead to better answers," wrote Mr Isenberg, listing down some ways to ask quality questions.
10/ People who aren't afraid to ask quality questions— GREG ISENBERG (@gregisenberg) June 8, 2021
Better questions lead to better answers
How to ask quality questions:
- Don't ask yes/no qs
- Use follow up qs
- Never interrupt
- Ask qs to which you want to know the answers
- Never ramble
- Be comfortable with pauses
11.People who are able to prioritize on high value work: Employees who recognise and focus on important tasks. "Important + Urgent" should be done first, while "Important + Non-Urgent" can be scheduled for later.
12.People with high emotional IQ: To gauge a potential employee's, ask questions that make people open up.
13.People who are (mostly) on time: "If you're consistently late, you're basically saying that you're time is more important than someone else," concluded Mr Isenberg.