As part of your research when looking for a job, it’s common for job seekers to look into the main skills, traits and qualities that hiring managers value. Depending on your industry and job title, the qualities a hiring manager values can change.

HR recruiters the number one quality hiring managers look for


But, according to  new research, there is one quality that hiring managers are looking for more than others. What is it? Adaptability.

“This quality has not always been in such demand. Before the pandemic, adaptability didn’t even make the list. But today, adaptability is a prerequisite for any successful job seeker. It shows that you’ll be able to thrive in today’s topsy-turvy business environment,” says Judith Humphrey on Fast Company in response to the study.

Top 5 Qualities Hiring Managers Look For

While adaptability is a little bit of a surprise at the top of the list, given the current circumstances surrounding the economy and job market, it makes sense. So, do the other quality that made the top 5:

  1.     Adaptability
  2.     Reliability
  3.     Authenticity
  4.     Confidence
  5.     Honesty

Why Is Adaptability Such An Important Quality?

Adaptability is an essential trait hiring managers seek out for a variety of reasons. Here are a few key points that highlight the importance of adaptability in the workplace:

Changing Work Environment

The business landscape is constantly evolving, influenced by advancements in technology, economic shifts, and market trends. Companies need employees who can quickly adjust to these changes and embrace new ways of working. Being adaptable allows you to navigate unfamiliar situations, learn new skills, and remain productive in dynamic work environments.

Skill Set Expansion

As industries progress, the demand for certain skills may decrease while new skills become vital. Adaptable individuals can identify emerging trends and proactively develop the necessary skills to stay relevant in their field. This versatility enables employees to take on different responsibilities, seize new opportunities, and contribute effectively to the organization’s goals.


Adaptability involves being open-minded and flexible when faced with challenges or obstacles. Employers value individuals who can think creatively, find innovative solutions, and adapt their approach to overcoming hurdles. By embracing change and demonstrating resilience, adaptable employees can effectively address problems and contribute to a more efficient and productive workplace.

Collaboration and Teamwork

In today’s interconnected world, collaboration is crucial for achieving success in most organizations. Adaptable individuals are more likely to collaborate effectively with colleagues from diverse backgrounds and adapt their communication styles to suit different team dynamics. They can easily adjust to varying work styles, foster positive relationships, and contribute to a harmonious and collaborative work environment.

Leadership Potential

Adaptability is often associated with strong leadership skills. Leaders need to guide their teams through periods of change and uncertainty. By being adaptable, leaders can inspire and motivate their colleagues, facilitate smooth transitions, and encourage a growth mindset within their teams.


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IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across Canada and internationally. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Executive Search / Board & C-Suite, Technology, Media, Digital & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Financial Services & Insurance, Startup, Data Science, Consumer, eCommerce & Retail, HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Engineering, Construction & Engineering, Legal & Professional Services, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, and Sales. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Tanya Schwartz Toronto Recruiter

Tanya Schwartz

Tanya is a Senior Director, Client Services, with more than 20 years of experience headhunting across numerous industry sectors, including Fashion, Operations & HR, Manufacturing, Administration, Retail, and Sales Recruitment. Her broad and lengthy track record of experience makes her a go-to partner for searches across all industries.

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