Better Hiring: Skills, Attitude, Culture.

What makes a good hiring decision? Someone who can do the job well, is excited to do it, and will fit in well with your team. Simple, right? Well, maybe not. Here are three golden rules I follow when hiring.

1. Interview for skills
First, make sure the candidate has the right skills for the job and—most importantly—has done this job successfully in the past. For example, if you’re looking for a sales manager, ask for details that relate to what a sales manager needs to do. Have you lead and grown a sales organization before? How did you do it? What were the results? How long did it take? What could you have done differently and how would you go about it next time? Look out for wishy-washy answers. The right candidate will be able to demonstrate past success in concrete terms and anyone else should be moved down the list.

2. Hire for attitude
Now, let’s assume you have several good candidates with the right skills and experience … which one do you pick? Easy. The one with the best attitude. The one who stands out for the right reason. If you’re hiring an account manager, perhaps it’s the one who is clearly a people-pleaser and is comfortable talking with anyone. If you’re hiring a software developer, perhaps the biggest data nerd who plays with open-source software on the weekends. The right reason can vary based on the role, but look for the one that truly shows a passionate attitude in their field. Remember, you can’t teach passion and motivation.

3. Keep for culture
Here’s the secret sauce—a piece that people often miss. Don’t be afraid to let someone go if they don’t fit culturally. We seem to sometimes think we need a “better” reason to part ways with an employee—that they need to do something that would be considered a performance issue. That’s just simply not true. Culture is the most important thing in your business and it is critical that the new hire fits in well. A bad fit is not a small problem limited to the one employee; it spreads like a virus throughout the whole team.

If you think your company doesn’t have a culture, you’re wrong. You have one … either by design (good) or by default (bad). Either way, if you are committed to Steps 1 and 2 and the new hire doesn’t seem to be working out, then they are just not a good fit with your company culture.

Now, one important thing to note here is that you want to give the new hire every chance to succeed and fit in. That means coaching the team to welcome the new team member like your dog welcomes you home after work, providing the right training and guidance, and clearly communicating expectations. Sometimes when a team has a really great culture they can become resistant to letting in someone new, so it helps to be purposeful about welcoming someone new and guiding your team to do the same.

And, of course, remember Tom’s Business Rule #1.

Your turn. What are your secret tips and tricks when it comes to hiring? What rules do you follow?

As always, thank you for sharing the article!

Thomas Michael

Thomas Michael is the CEO of the Michael Management Corporation – the place that brings you awesome SAP eLearning. He lives in Manhattan, is looking forward to trying his homemade gin this weekend and to coming up with new ideas to make businesses run better.

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