“Mindset: The New Psychology of Success“, authored by psychologist Carol Dweck, offers profound insights into our professional lives through its dichotomy of fixed and growth mindsets. As part of my Master’s thesis, I examined this concept in great detail, since our mindset can affect everything we do, from how we react to feedback to our willingness to take on new projects or even how we manage employees.
Individuals with a fixed mindset perceive their intelligence and abilities as static traits, attributing success to inherent talent rather than effort. Conversely, those with a growth mindset view their abilities as malleable, honed through dedication and perseverance.
Suppose you had experience in architecture and were tasked with overseeing BIM for a tunnel project, an area where you do not have expertise. A fixed mindset might lead to doubting your capabilities, but a growth mindset encourages a proactive approach to acquiring new skills and adapting your extensive knowledge to this new context.
An experience I recall from a former employer involved recruiting additional staff for a large infrastructure project. I found an exceptional candidate with a strong background in engineering, the ability to lead a large team, and knowledge of digital tools.
In the interview, the hiring manager focused on experience using a specific piece of software that wasn’t required for the position. The managers’ rigidity in what they believed was important overshadowed the candidates’ ability to contribute significantly to the team, despite the candidates’ broad competencies. Unfortunately, this approach is not uncommon. I’ve seen promising candidates overlooked for reasons like lack of local experience, specific industry exposure, or proximity to the workplace.
These experiences underscore a critical lesson: a fixed checklist approach in recruitment can hinder the discovery of talent with immense potential and diverse skills. It’s vital to assess candidates holistically, considering their current abilities and capacity for growth and adaptation.
Encountering such narrow criteria can be disheartening for those on the job hunt. However, it’s worth remembering that missing out on a role due to such reasons might indicate a mismatch in workplace culture or values. If manager has a fixed mindset in the hiring process, they’re likely to have a fixed mindset in how they manage, being less likely to think that their employees are capable of growth and t therefore less likely to challenge them. Finding a team that values and nurtures growth could be more fulfilling in the long run.
Embracing a growth mindset in recruitment, both as candidates and hiring managers, can lead to richer, more dynamic team compositions, fostering innovation and adaptability in the ever-evolving field of digital in the AEC industry.