Key Traits for Talent Today

We’ve turned the corner to a new year and a new decade, yet the market continues to validate the adage that change remains a constant across the investment management industry. There’s been much written on the importance of leadership and the skillset required to guide organizations through these turbulent times. But what about the qualities that companies are seeking in talent they may not have prioritized even a short five years ago?


There’s no question that hiring today is a complex endeavor. There are so many factors at play — whether it’s internal and external pressures of achieving a more diverse workforce, the recognition that each level of an increasingly multigenerational workforce has different needs and work styles or the impact of technology on how and where roles are performed, to name just a few — companies want to make every hire count. So, what traits are top of mind in hiring today?


  • Adaptability. Very few roles are immune from change. Consolidation seems to be exacerbating this tenet almost daily. While a core skillset may remain a constant, the application of it may be changing and it’s essential that talent avoid being myopic about what they were hired to do versus what a business needs today. Agility is a must have, not a nice to have.


  • Tech-savviness. This is not a new concept but just keeping up isn’t enough. Anticipate how technology is impacting specific roles and what it will take to stay a step ahead. Whether that means learning a new programming language or being smarter about where businesses are vulnerable to a technology solution, be proactive about keeping your skills and insights sharp.


  • Analytical skills. The ability to understand and capture data is permeating many parts of the business — investments, distribution, product and marketing, among others – know its value and how to harness it.


  • EQ/Interpersonal skills. Connecting with people, building relationships, empathy and collaborating isn’t going out of style anytime soon, even in data-driven parts of the business. The proliferation of multigenerational workforces and on-going evolution of the workplace itself will demand a higher quotient of this skillset across all levels of employees.


  • A willingness to invest in your career. Whether it’s a certification such as the CFA, taking a class or pursuing a graduate degree, hiring a career coach or seeking out a sponsor who can provide unbiased advice, investing in your career is mission critical for long-term success.


The importance of staying relevant has moved beyond words and into measurable actions that are imperatives today. If you’d like to share thoughts on this or other topics we’ve written about, feel free to comment below or reach out to me directly.