Cindy Novotny

Hire for Loyalty and Attitude – You Can Train on Skill!

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I just spoke to a client of ours about what makes a great employee.  She mentioned a colleague that she had worked with in the past that always seemed to think they were better than they really were, had an arrogance about them and never seemed content with the job they had. Therefore, they continued to jump from job to job looking for the ‘golden egg.’ 

Although I am no specialist in recruiting, I have hired many people over the years and I am finally figuring out what makes the best team player.  In any business it is important to bring people on board that really want to grow with the company, learn, expand their knowledge, be forced out of their comfort zone and be willing to do what it takes to be successful.  There is no room today in business for big egos, personalities that need to be center stage and individuals who want the ‘quick path’ to the board room.  We have heard so much over the past several years about the new and younger generation.  We have read that these young people want to move around a lot and want to get ahead quickly.  I believe this is changing and we all need to stop believing in this BS. 

Fast forward to today – the tide is changing and the 30 somethings who are worth their weight in gold are making better choices.  They are looking for mentors that will help them get to their end game – not faster, but more strategic and with better results.  I am in the UK working this week and conducting small, intimate focus groups with young adults who want to grow in business and be very successful when they reach their 40’s & 50’s.  These young professionals have the right attitude.  They are ready to face tough responsibilities, challenges and take on areas of job expertise that they may not enjoy. 

They know this is their path to success and they are willing to do it.  Remember, there is more to a book than its shiny cover and I have made some mistakes in the past by selecting a person just because of their glossy exterior.  In fact, a senior person on my team said to me the other night while we were out to dinner in London - ‘oh don’t think about hiring that person just because they look like they would fit in.’ We laughed and I reflected on what I have learned and what I am looking for in building the team of the future for MCA!

What have I learned?

1.     Anyone can put on a good show – results in business do not come from entertainers but from professionals that can create results

2.     Their resume only tells 50% of the story – it is amazing how so many people inflate what they have done in their past jobs

3.     Look for loyalty – ask for commitments up front and don’t be afraid to challenge them on their ability to hang in for the long run

4.     Set up an audition – ask them to role play in the position you are hiring.. Sales professionals should make some ‘prospecting’ calls in front of you or give you a presentation on the product they currently sell, training managers should do a lecture, creative talent should design something for you on the spot and administrative assistants should handle a ‘real life’ situation as they would on the job.  Put a bit of pressure on them during the interview

5.     When they blow the audition you move on to the next candidate – tough yes, but this will save you a great deal of grief in the future

6.     Have others on your team interview them – regardless of position, have your current team put them through the ‘ringer’

I promise you that some of these tips will move the cream to the top.  Those that can’t take the heat should get out of the kitchen – as they say!