“Hire me!” Every talented applicant, thirsting for a position in your organization, naturally makes that same request. Of course, if there’s an opening that needs to be filled, many headhunters are eager to grant any accomplished individual the job they seek. Don’t do it! In recent years, employers have come to bend over backward for recruits, but the most successful businesses still don’t hire on expertise alone. Contrary to popular belief, a candidate’s skills and experience are not the most crucial qualifications.
Your corporate purpose should have the greatest impact on every decision you make, especially when it comes to who you hire. As Lawrence Bossidy, former COO of General Electric and CEO of Allied Signal, said, “Nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not on strategies.” To build long-term success, purposeful companies should take these seven vital factors into account when hiring:
If a potential hire does not believe in your purpose or share your values, they are not qualified for the position. When employees care about their work and view it as meaningful, they do a better job and maintain the brand’s authenticity. In order to genuinely deliver the services you pride yourself on, fulfill your purpose and drive your profit, your employees’ values must align with your company’s values.
Every business’s purpose demands a different setting, with varying policies. Employees must be able to thrive in the unique workplace setting that you’ve shaped around your purpose. For example, if a candidate requires structure to function, but freedom is a large part of your workplace culture and identity, they’re the wrong hire, regardless of their skill set.
To successfully achieve your purpose, the personalities of the applicants you hire must fit with those of your other employees. Often a business’s unique goals and values will attract certain types of characters that connect with the company’s cause and complement one another well. A business cannot function without like-minded team members who can work together to fulfill a shared purpose.
If your purpose truly inspires a hire, they are much less likely to leave your business. When candidates are not as committed to a company’s purpose, they are often not as interested in long-term positions, and their work will reflect it. If you hire to fill short-term needs instead of for long-term alignment, you will have to recruit and onboard additional individuals, costing your company in terms of continuity and finances.
The most passionate about purpose tend to be the most positive. So, if you strictly hire purposeful team members, you strictly hire positive team members. Make sure any employees you bring to your business bring positive attitudes with them. Otherwise, their work will reflect their negativity, and they will bring others down with them.
A hire’s work ethic should reflect a strong commitment to your purpose. Studies show that genuinely purpose-driven individuals generally work harder than those motivated by less meaningful incentives. No matter how educated or experienced, if a worker is not motivated, they are a poor hire.
To be functioning members of a team serving a higher purpose, employees must put others and the mission above themselves. If an employee cannot check their ego at the door, they will not work well with others or put the business’s cause before their self-interests. For this reason, it is essential to evaluate an applicant’s humility before hiring.
A bad hire can lead to missed opportunities, lost revenue and even more bad hires. And often, you aren’t aware that you have made the wrong choice until it’s way too late. Save your business the trouble. Remember that skills and experience can be developed, but aspects like values are not as easily learned. Take purposeful factors into account above all else when hiring employees. Hire for fit. Train for skill.
This article was first published on Forbes Agency Council, Jan 22, 2020.