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Home » Human Resources

Eight Rules For Hiring Smart

Hiring smart is productive, not doing so is unproductive. The most common – and fatal – hiring mistake is to find someone with the right skills but the wrong mind-set (attitude) and hire them on the theory, “We can change them.”

Many individuals have had the pleasure of hiring directly or indirectly hundreds of people throughout their career. Many have also experienced the distasteful process of having to fire individuals. The vast majority never fired someone for lack of skills; it is most always the result of behavioral problems. Individuals are not fired for a bad attitude, but rather for specific behavioral problems which were as a result of their attitude. The following eight rules for hiring from the outside and for promoting from within can go a long way toward building a highly productive organization.

1. Hire attitude, train skill. (Southwest Airlines mantra)

2. Hire people for “who they are” first, and “what they know” second. What they know, and will need to know, changes. Who they are doesn’t.

3. Hire people first with the right mind-set, and second with the right tool-set.

4. Hire people who have a demonstrated record of life-long learning and the “application” of that learning.

5. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Ask interview questions that get them to talk about how they have reacted in certain situations (change, stress, wins, conflict, deadlines, teamwork, etc.) Listen to learn.

6. Hire people who are passionate and have accomplished things in their life.

7. Look for energy, humor, spirit and self-confidence, and a great attitude.

8. Hire people who are excited about managing their own career, contributing to the greater good of the organization and involved in the community. Great people are normally greatly involved!

Now more than ever, organizations need every individual to contribute in a positive and productive manner. Individuals with a poor attitude or behavioral problems take away from the time and productivity of others. If you are in a management position your good employees expect you to deal with the problem employee. And…don’t forget…nurturing and mentoring the employees with great attitudes is a sure way to grow and sustain organizational success. 

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Roger Ingbretsen

Meet the Author Roger Ingbretsen

Roger Ingbretsen has written 40 Articles on Small Business Delivered.

With more than three decades of operational and leadership experience, Roger has developed a sharp eye for how organizations and their leaders can retool and become strategically focused. Roger is a retired USAF officer, serving on active duty for twenty-six years. www.ingbretsen.com

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