Got Grit?

2013 has started off with a burst of new jobs!  We have received more new positions in the first two weeks of the new year than at any point since 2008!

My sense is that now that we know who our President will be and that the “fiscal cliff” has been addressed, the uncertainty that was hanging over the economy has lifted and law firms and companies are finally moving forward.  Although we are very excited to work on so many new positions, finding the right talent is a challenge!

I have given a great deal of thought as to what it takes to be successful in  law firm marketing/BD, recruitment, PD, practice management or other administrative roles. Here is what I believe the best candidates bring to the role: Grit!

“Grit” was coined by Univ. of Penn. professor Angela Duckworth and is defined in her research as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.”   Having interviewed more than 10,000 professional over the past 23 years, I firmly believe this is the trait that best predicts successful performance.

How do we know if the candidate you are about to hire has the grit required to overcome obstacles and to achieve long-term work goals, as well as the resilience to deal with challenges? Well, Duckworth developed a “grit test” that has been tested on professionals, students and West Pointers and is a fabulous predictor of performance success.  Here are some questions you may want to ask candidates as you make critical hiring decisions:

– Can you tell me a little about how you overcame setbacks to achieve an important goal?

– Describe a long-term project where you faced many obstacles but were able to achieve the desired results.

– Tell me about a difficult person you had to work with on an important assignment at work or school. How did you manage the situation?

So the next time you are thinking about adding someone to your team, make sure they have the grit required to succeed!

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