1. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
Organisations want people who aren’t afraid to tackle difficult tasks – problem solvers who learn from a challenge, not folk who say “that’s too hard” and pack it in.
It has been one of those weeks for me. Everything that could go wrong… did! What appeared disastrous, was of course, in a life or death context, no more than a hiccup. Supported and sorted, and I’m up again for the next challenge.
This made me think: How do we gauge resilience without having actually worked alongside a person?
I actively screen for resilience in candidates. During the recruitment process, we need to find out if a candidate has been tested in tough times and how they manage through tricky situations. Psychometric testing is also useful to get a good grasp on work style and character attributes.
Two of my favourite behavioural questions that I think give me the most insight are:
How have you dealt with failure? How did it make you feel, and what did you learn?
We are all familiar with the old adage ‘sink or swim’ and there is a reason for this. Work can be tough; and each role has its own pressure points. You will make mistakes, you may miss a deadline and sometimes you could flat out fail. Listening to candidates answer this question gives me some insight into how reflective they are about their fallibilities, if they can learn from mistakes and bounce back.
Describe a time when you kept your eye on the big picture, through a challenging situation?
Why do I like this question? It allows me to see where a person’s focus lies. It is so easy to get side-tracked with a current disaster/issue/problem and assume that it’s all too hard. I know sometimes it may feel that the end of the road is nigh, but let me tell you, after 20 years in the workforce, it’s not. Maintaining perspective provides a way forward, so I want to find candidates who can keep their eye on the ball, get knocked down… get up again, to win the prize at the end of the race.
Our fast-paced contingent workforce at The Interchange Bench regularly attend jobs in new environments. Once we’re briefed on an assignment we match the role with our ‘bench of talent ensuring capability and culture fit are closely aligned. For our candidates going out on assignment, it’s a case of getting on with the show. That is why resilience is key whether it’s a months’ long assignment or just for a day.
Often in our working lives we get knocked down. Sometimes it’s not a little stumble, but a great big fall. We get up, we dust ourselves off and we get on with it. If we are lucky, we are able to learn from the experience and we become hardier in preparation for similar situations in the future.
It certainly helps to have a supportive team to get you through tough times at work
How do you measure resilience in your world @work?