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Curiosity Is an In-Demand Trait on the Job Market

Dive In
  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Bromstein

Curiosity is recognized as a valuable skill by business leaders and is of high value in today’s job market.

A new report, by analytics company SAS, the SAS Curiosity@Work Report, found that employers seek curiosity to address some of the challenges facing organizations today, including improving employee retention and job satisfaction and creating more innovative, collaborative and productive workplaces. The report used survey responses from nearly 2,000 managers around the world and analyzed LinkedIn data from the last year.

A vast majority of managers believe curiosity is a valuable trait

According to a media brief, curiosity is defined as “the impulse to seek new information and experiences and explore novel possibilities.”

The research reportedly found that nearly three-quarters (72%) of managers believe curiosity is a very valuable trait in employees, with more than half strongly agreeing that curiosity drives real business impact (59%) and that employees with more curiosity are higher performers (51%).

90% growth in job postings that mention curiosity

And data from LinkedIn shows 90% growth in job postings that mention curiosity, and 87% growth in the mention of skills related to curiosity (though there is no mention of what these skills are). There has also been a 158% year-over-year increase in engagement with posts, shares, and articles mentioning curiosity.

Facing the challenges of employee motivation and retention

Sixty percent of survey respondents said they are finding it particularly difficult to keep employee morale and motivation high. Other challenges cited by managers are retaining good employees (52%), getting employees to do anything beyond their basic job duties (51%) and driving cross-collaboration with other teams and departments (50%).

Curiosity is thought to be part of the potential solution to these business challenges.

The managers surveyed agreed that the benefits of curiosity include:

  1. Greater efficiency and productivity – 62%

  2. More creative thinking and solutions – 62%

  3. Stronger collaboration and teamwork – 58%

  4. Greater employee engagement and job satisfaction – 58%

Survey respondents also agree that curiosity is particularly valuable when innovating new solutions (62%), tackling complex problems (55%), and analyzing data (52%).

How to demonstrate curiosity

If employers want to see curiosity, how do you showcase it? You showcase curiosity by being genuinely curious. For example:

Do your research

It’s wildly important to do your research on a company before a job interview. This means looking into the company’s history, learning about its products and services, getting to know who its management team is, and more. Show up to the interview knowing your stuff and this will impress the hiring manager.

Listen and ask questions

Listen attentively and actively. Curious people are active listeners. They listen more than they talk and they ask questions. They don’t ask questions like “how much time off do I get?” and “Is it OK to leave early?” Curious people ask their interviewer about themselves and they ask about the company culture. They want to know about the company’s future plans and vision, and they want to know what they need to do to be successful in the job for which they’re interviewing. Curious people want to know more.

Express a willingness to learn

Communicate that you are willing to learn and grow. If you’re lacking a skill or qualification, make it clear that you’re eager to develop it. Take courses and read. The more you learn the more it will be clear that you’re curious about the world.

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