Unlocking your potential in recruitment with a growth mindset

6 mins

When it comes to excelling in recruitment, there's an essential trait to work on – and that ...

When it comes to excelling in recruitment, there's an essential trait to work on – and that employers will be on the lookout for. It’s a growth mindset.

Ever heard of the Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck? She’s best known for her work on growth mindsets versus fixed mindsets, and refers to the belief that individuals can develop their abilities through dedication and hard work.

She describes a fixed mindset as “…people believe their basic qualities, like intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe talent alone creates success – without effort.”

Growth mindset, on the other hand, is defined by Dweck as “…people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” 

How will that help in your recruitment career? Here, we reveal why having a growth mindset is such a valuable asset in the competitive world of recruitment.

(1) Embracing challenges

Recruitment is often a challenging industry, but recruiters with a growth mindset will know that setbacks are opportunities for growth. They embrace challenges and learn from their mistakes, rather than shying away from them. This attitude is especially important when it comes to dealing with rejection from clients or candidates – it’s a competitive market, so make sure you’re differentiating yourself from others.

Training specialists Upskilled encourage people to challenge themselves at work, because:

  1. It promotes career growth.
  2. You get to network with new people.
  3. It allows you to engage in new tasks and responsibilities.
  4. It opens up opportunities for ongoing learning. 

…all of which are going to benefit your career. What are you waiting for? What new challenges will you embrace to reach your goals?


(2) Seeking feedback

A growth mindset isn’t just about effort. As Dweck points out, “Unproductive effort is never a good thing!” Instead, it’s about dedication and commitment to real learning and progress – these are the things that will skyrocket your recruitment career.

Are you willing to seek help and feedback from others? Are you open to try new strategies and look to improve the way you do things? Recruiters with a growth mindset aren’t afraid to do any of these things. They’re open to constructive criticism and actively seek out ways to improve their skills. This is especially important in recruitment, where communication skills and the ability to build relationships are crucial. Remember to seek out feedback for the right reasons, though – not just because you feel you should, but because you truly value the power it has in helping you to grow.


(3) Perseverance

“It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” Wise words from Confucius some 2000 years ago, yet just as relevant today! And particularly so in recruitment…

It’s a competitive industry, and success doesn't come easily. But if you have a growth mindset, you’ll understand (and accept) that you’ll face obstacles along the way. The key is to keep pushing forward – even in the face of adversity! People with a growth mindset won’t give up at the first sign of failure; instead, they’ll view failure as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Perseverance is closely related to other concepts (like motivation, determination, resilience, drive, passion, and conscientiousness) which are all conducive to positive mental health. Another great reason to hone perseverance skills, alongside boosting your recruitment career.


(4) Adaptability

In today's rapidly changing job market, adaptability is key. Those with a growth mindset are flexible and willing to learn new skills to keep up with the latest trends. Perhaps more importantly, they realise this is essential in future-proofing their career.

In recruitment, adaptability specifically relates to being open to new technology, and social media platforms. But it’s also about keeping on top of the latest hiring trends, market shifts and developing a deep understanding of the industries you're recruiting in. It’s essential you’re continuously looking for new and improved ways of doing things, especially when looking for new clients and candidates.

Adaptability is really useful in the workplace in becoming a more valuable employee, more relevant, a better leader and happier!


(5) Leadership potential

It’s perhaps no surprise then that our penultimate point brings us to leadership. Recruiters with a growth mindset are at the top of the list when it comes to having the potential to lead teams.

If you have a growth mindset, chances are you’re also a natural problem solver, quick learner, and have a strong drive to succeed. You’re probably not satisfied with the status quo and are always looking for ways to improve processes... and yourself. These are all qualities that make for effective leaders.

But here’s the real benefit of leaders with a growth mindset. If you’re able to pass on your growth mindset to your team and even an entire organisation, you’ll have a beautifully aligned organisation with a culture of growth for your ongoing and future success.


(6) Curiosity 

We couldn’t talk about growth mindset without mention of curiosity.

People who are socially curious are believed to be better at solving issues with colleagues, asking for and accepting support and are generally more successful in creating trust, connections, and respect; all important skills for recruiters who are interacting with lots of different people daily.

Curious individuals tend to be more positive and empathetic. They inspire new ideas. And, according to speaker and consultant, John R Miles, “...curiosity has been credited as the driving force behind human progress and advances in science, language, and industry. It is a vital quality that helps us learn, grow, and discover…it facilitates a more profound relationship with ourselves, others, and our interaction with the world.”

So, ask more questions, read more books, listen to those around you, and don’t be afraid to try something new. Curiosity’s an essential trait in nailing a growth mindset.


Remember, a fixed mindset is not only detrimental to business, but it will also limit your personal and career growth! But when you practise a growth mindset, you’ll open yourself up to new possibilities with less fear of failure. Another classic quote, this time from T.S. Eliot who said “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

When it comes to being the best recruiter you can be, work on your growth mindset – it’s a trait recruitment agencies are looking to hire…including us here at Apollo Solutions. If you have a growth mindset, along with the potential to be a great recruiter and/or leader, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us today for a confidential chat about elevating your recruitment career. 

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