There’s nothing worse than hiring what you think is a great new staff member only to find out that they don’t work hard or can’t cooperate with team members. Successful cement industry businessman Alexander F. Bouri has seen this happen too many times, but also noticed that it happened a lot less when he changed his hiring practices. Here are his three steps for hiring the right person every time.
No arbitrary criteria
These days, it’s not uncommon for a hiring manager to end up with a stack of 40, 50 or 100 resumés or more. At that point, it’s not practical to carefully consider each one, and you have to narrow down the stack somehow. Unfortunately, this is where many business owners become arbitrary. Alexander F. Bouri hears businesspeople say that they throw out any résumés with a typo, for example. Unless you’re hiring a proofreader, this doesn’t speak to their qualifications for the job and you’re likely throwing out qualified candidates while keeping some duds. Instead, consider narrowing down the pool using criteria that reflects on personality and attitude, like keeping only those that show active volunteer work on their resumes, or only those with a certain amount of education. Alternately, consider a round of speed interviews where you ask each candidate three questions over the phone, and get a chance to choose candidates based on how they present themselves.
Hire based on attitude
Most hiring managers place far too much emphasis on numeric criteria, like number of years of experience. Alexander F. Bouri calls these “checkbox” criteria because all you have to do is check the boxes and you’re hired. Experience matters, but there are plenty of candidates out there who have spent years in their field under-performing and aren’t really a good hire. Instead he hires based on attitude. When Bouri sits down with a candidate, he is looking for a very specific personality type that is actively engaged in the conversation, positive in their outlook, comfortable in making suggestions, and full of creativity. This is the sort of person who will flourish in almost any position and can always help your team tackle a difficult problem. Plus, it’s easy to train an inexperienced employee, but it’s almost impossible to reform someone’s attitude. Put personality first!
Have a specific set of character traits you look for
The best way to hire people with the right attitude is to carefully outline what that attitude is. Have a set of values and characteristics that you look for. They don’t have to be the same as Bouri’s but you need to be able to list them in your head in order to assess whether people have them or not. Keep it to four or five, but consider them priorities in hiring.
Do you take a different approach to hiring? What is your approach?