5 Reasons to Hire People With The Ability to Learn Quickly

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Hiring people to create a strong team isn’t an easy task. With so many candidates, you have to be selective when making your decisions, and sometimes you won’t know if you’ve made the right choice until time has passed.

No matter how qualified your candidates are, hiring anyone can be risky. You could hire someone who is proficient in all the software programs listed in your job posting, only to find out they’re a lone wolf who doesn’t work well in a team environment.

For this reason, you should be conducting your talent search based on more than just raw, technical skills. Besides, it could take you months to find someone who has all the skills you’re looking for.

Instead of just looking for raw, technical skills, look for someone who loves to learn and learns quickly. Here are five reasons a fast learner could end up being your biggest asset:

1. Quick learners make great trainers

People with the ability to learn quickly possess cognitive skills that function at an extremely high level. Because they retain more information than most, this gives them the ability to solve more complex problems using their broad knowledge.

When you have someone on your team who can quickly learn new software inside and out, they’ll be able to help the rest of your team move forward when they’re stuck, and quickly solve problems you may have otherwise just worked around.

You can support your whole team by making your quick learners the first point of contact when someone encounters a software problem or needs technical help.

2. Quick learners can adapt to major software changes

Imagine what would happen if you needed to change one of your major software platforms, like making the move from Infusionsoft to Salesforce. That’s not a small move by any means, and while both pieces of software are CRMs, they use completely different interfaces.

If you have a quick learner on your team, you could connect them with Bridgepoint Consulting, for example, and have them work with a Salesforce expert long enough to figure out how it works. Then, you can have them train the rest of your staff.

If you only hired people with Infusionsoft knowledge, many of them may struggle to learn something new. A quick learner can adapt to any change, and cut the standard learning curve in half.

3. Fast learners can fill multiple roles as needed

If someone in an important role on your team goes on vacation for a couple of weeks, it’s up to you to fill their spot. You could spend time and money trying to hire an expert temporarily, or you could ask one of your fast learners if they might be interested in filling in.

With a little bit of research and some basic guidelines, your fast learners can temporarily fill almost any role, and since they love to learn, they’re probably secretly hoping you’ll ask.

4. Quick learners come with other desirable traits

People who learn quickly also tend to take ownership of their outcomes, and make better team players with constructive collaboration.

When your team consists of people who take initiative to learn on their own and are responsible for their own outcomes, you’re dealing with people who operate at a higher level of integrity than the average person. People with these traits tend to be more dependable and have a “can do” attitude to get things done.

5. Fast learners are almost always self-motivated learners

When a person learns because they want to, and not because they have to, they’ll learn more and dig deeper.

According to JackCanfield.com, self-motivated learners can admit they don’t know everything and take bigger risks, which helps them get bigger results.

If you want a rockstar on your team who can take the initiative to do whatever it takes to get results, you need to hire a self-motivated learner.

Anyone can learn how to learn

Although some will be better at it than others, learning is a skill that can be developed in your team members. You can teach your employees the skills necessary to adapt to new technology, systems, and structures necessary to keep up with current trends.

Quick learners want to learn and they love challenges. When you notice a candidate doesn’t have a particular skillset you’d like, don’t be afraid to ask if they’d be willing to learn it for the job. They’ll probably jump at the opportunity to learn something new and be a more valuable asset to the team in the process.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, always revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance producer for USA Today, and a contributor at Technorati. She lives in Utah with her 2 kids and husband. Melissa Thompson can be reached via LinkedIn or Twitter @melthompson88. Please follow and friend her on either site.