So, I used to think you could put anyone into a job and teach them from scratch, but the past twenty years have taught me otherwise. Yes, every person has the capability to learn and to add value in almost any situation. But, for me, what really sets people apart is drive.
Does the candidate you’re interviewing have the drive to learn what you want to teach them? And drive to learn is different than willing to learn or even wanting to learn, in my experience. Will the candidate grow in the job and appreciate the years of wisdom you pass down to them? Will they reciprocate by adding value to the company? These are the questions we should ask.
I’ve come to realize there are only a handful of key characteristics to look for when hiring the “right” people. The kind of people who advocate for your company and produce the kind of quality service that reflects your entrepreneurial vision.
My latest list of characteristics looks like this:
- Drive: What drives the them? Does that drive fit the position in which I want to place them? Don’t hire people that just need a job.
- Desire: Hire people that want to work for you. Ask them why they want a job at your company. Be sure to listen carefully to the answer. What you hear may surprise you.
- Dedication: Is this position going to add value to their career journey? Have they thought this through? Are they willing to make sacrifices to grow, or do they want it all now?
- Dependable: Hire smart people who are present. There’s nothing worse than an employee who regularly shows and simply goes through the motions.
- Listen, listen, listen: A fine candidate with great skills may seem perfect, but not necessarily for your company. If you pay attention, the clues are there as to whether you’ve found the right or wrong candidate.
Personally, I love meeting and interviewing people. I know that great people make great companies, and the skill to sift through the many applicants is the perhaps the most important part of leading a successful company.
Illustration by: Darcy Reynolds
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