A CEO shares the surprising skill she looks for in every job candidate

Holly ThaggardCourtesy of Holly ThaggardHolly Thaggard, CEO of Supergoop.

Holly Thaggard doesn’t run a news website or a publishing company, but the skill she values most in job candidates is
the ability to write well.

The CEO and founder of Supergoop, a skincare and sunscreen company, says writing is the primary basis upon which an applicant’s work and intellect will be judged.

“It is an easy read on their communication and thinking skills, too,” she tells Business Insider.

To assess a candidate’s writing skills, Thaggard asks them to spend a half hour responding to a handful of customer emails.

“I ask that they provide their best answers with the limited information they know,” she explains. “Not only does this little exercise show me their writing skills, it is also important to me that our entire team be able to deliver on the best customer experience. I’m looking to see how they would handle a situation when they might not have an answer or the knowledge (yet) to provide an accurate reply. It also shows me how much time they have put into learning about our brand and company.”

In addition to writing skills, Thaggard says she looks for candidates who prioritise health and wellness, and have a great personality.

“People today, more so than in former generations, have such a greater awareness of their own health and the need to take care of their bodies. A lifestyle based on good choices shows the quality of life of your candidate,” she says. “And a healthy personality is often inspirational to others and can inspire leadership. It also contributes to reducing stress and just generally leading a positive life.”

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