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Hire civil and passionate (great) people

Hiring new staff impacts your organization for a very long time. Will this person care about the organization or himself? Will she be inclusive or exclusive? Responsive or be convinced he knows all? Have leadership talent, knowledge and skills?

Guy Kawasaki in ‘The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything’ says ignore the irrelevant and that can include education and work experience. Passion is far more important in hiring new employees.

There is no ‘perfect’ candidate
Prioritize your wish list and look at the big picture. Is the candidate a problem-solver, a critical-thinker, a good fit for the company culture and enthusiastic about the job? Look for listening skills, problem-solving ability, a sense of fairness and someone who is trustworthy. All these attributes are very much in the civility camp.

Businesses and industries hire students on cooperative assignments and internships. They get to see the real person at work and judge whether students would be good permanent hires. And if students don’t fit, they’re gone after the internship. That luxury often doesn’t exist in hiring full-time employees.

Hiring great people is serious business
Savvy businesses don’t leave interviewing to a search committee. They ask many to be a part of the interviewing process. Potential coworkers, supervisors and people who would answer to the new hire share in interviewing candidates and have a say in the hire. A hire that doesn’t fit is a problem for the organization for a long time.

Organizations have long used networking to get information on candidates. Today companies are seriously seeking out alternate references because there are enough untruthful people and bullies out there that organizations want to ensure they don’t hire one.

Hiring is not a process to rush through or to take lightly
Not if you want a hire that embraces civility and can bring real passion to your workplace. Those are the qualities that spread through a workplace and infect it to bring about innovation and progress.

More reading
The Google hiring process
http://www.google.com/support/jobs/bin/static.py?page=gettingintogoogle.html&sid=hiringprocess

Businesses may be trying to find people who have real dirt on you, The Indianapolis Star
http://blog.marketplace.nwsource.com/jobsnews/2007/11/02/110507_dirt.html

Comments

I think we tend to get wrapped up in KINDNESS when we hire... a mistake. Interviews should be a challenge... both to the candidate and to us. More importantly, we should have done the reference checks before the interview rather than after to develop a list of issues to check out.

I can't help but think that everything you say here also applies to our current search for presidential candidates

I like the idea of hiring someone for the "passion" he has for the position. Education and experience are important qualities. Yet, if you hire someone who has the education, but only wants the paycheck - someone who does not bring energy and passion to the job, then the new hire was a big mistake. I sincerely wish more companies/universities would base their hiring standards on personality, excitement for the job, interests in the staff, truthfulness (someone who can look you straight in the eye and answer your questions directly). To me, these qualities are far more important than education and experience.