As the summer winds down, you may be getting ready to say goodbye to an intern who joined your office over the summer. You may be wondering if this candidate would be a good fit for a long-term position with your company. As you evaluate this candidate, or any other early-in-career candidate, here are a few skills to look for.
Data-driven story telling
Can the candidate interpret data and tell a story rooted in it?
The importance of making decisions based on data isn’t new to anyone. In addition to a strong analytical skillset, however, it’s important to think about how the candidate can share data to compel others.
Think about it this way: You don’t want to read a spreadsheet line for line if you’ve asked someone to analyze it, right? You want the candidate to demonstrate their knowledge of what the data says and present a valid recommendation based on it.
Ability to manage up
Is this candidate comfortable working with colleagues across levels? Early-in-career employees often find themselves in positions in which they need to “manage up” or give direction to those who outrank them in title or tenure.
Even if it’s not in an official capacity, new hires may need to remind their managers of certain things from time to time. I know people who struggle with this, while others do it with maturity, earning them the respect of others.
When presented with a project or complicated task, how well can the candidate manage it from start to finish? Can he or she think through the project beginning to end—and formulate the critical questions to ask to fill in the gaps?
While my title has never formally been “project manager” this skill has been of paramount importance in my ability to succeed.
Adding these three skills to your list of qualifications will help make your next early-in-career hire a slam dunk!
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