One of the largest challenges leaders face is hiring the right people. When filling positions, regardless of how large or small the role, the opportunity exists to upgrade the organization by hiring the best people possible. Hiring the right person will mean a lift in the culture, operation, chemistry and performance of your team, group, department, division and company.
Years ago Buddy Pilgrim (then CEO and President of Pilgrim Foods) introduced me to a new way of hiring. He said, “Ossie, you can search the planet looking for good people, but unless you have a system of hiring, you won’t consistently hire the right people.” So with Buddy’s mentorship, I began to use the 4 C’s of hiring the right people.
Chemistry to fit with the team
Hire people that mesh with you and the other individuals in their work group. Don’t hire someone who comes in and immediately erects walls and barriers with their communication or attitudes, regardless of their talent. The right candidate speaks your language and relates positively to the team. This will be someone who will strive to bring or keep the team together as part of their process. Whomever you hire needs to be a positive part of your team chemistry. How can you determine that? Ensure that integral members of the team including their peer group, are a part of the hiring process and listen to their input. It’s as simple as that.
Capable of doing the job
Is this candidate capable of doing this specific job? Do they have the experience, knowledge, and the relationships needed to fulfill the functions of the position? Can they actually do the job? The best way to get to the bottom of that question is to speak to the candidates references personally. In today’s culture, it seems that this portion of the hiring process has been handed over to a person in Human Resources. It is best to get on the phone and do a deep dive into the references yourself. The positive feedback will be on the surface; to get to any negative, you’ll be forced to ask hard questions. Also something to consider is the length of employment at their previous positions. If their time at each company was short, you will need to inquire why.
Capacity to fulfill the demands of the job
Does this potential employee have the capacity to do the job? Does the position require travel? Are they able to go overseas? Does the job require working weekends? Can they work late nights? Some jobs are physically demanding, requiring stamina; is this job to much for them? If they telecommute, do they have a home situation that will allow them to be successful? Some people will agree to anything just to get a job. Be honest with yourself in evaluating the candidate’s capacity and ask them to be honest. Having the capacity is as important as anything else in hiring the right person for any position.
It the person of excellent Character
Is the candidate a person of character? Do they have integrity, honesty, and high moral values? Are they confidential in nature? These are key questions to answer because the applicant is not just being hired by your organization into a position; the very moment they come to work, they will represent the company and in some cases, you directly. How they are perceived, is how your organization will be branded.
How can you ascertain the character level of a candidate? Two simple tips:
- Look at his or her life with an even hand. Are they quick to speak negatively or positively about others? When you speak to their references, do they mention how impressed they are with the individual’s character without being prompted? If the person will be in a pivotal position, I make it a rule to meet their spouse and family. You will gain much from talking with those closest to the candidate.
- Watch how he or she interacts with others; do they thank the receptionist? How do they interact with your assistant, peer groups? If at a restaurant, how do they treat the waiter? You will quickly learn negative and positive character traits of the candidate just by observing them.
To recap, here are the 4 C’s of hiring the right people. First Chemistry: the candidate must get along with the team. Second, Capability: the candidate must have the history, experience, and knowledge to get the job done. Third, Capacity: the candidate must physically and mentally be capable performing the job functions. Fourth, and most importantly, Character: the candidate must be of strong moral fiber.
Hiring the right people will be the most important decisions you’ll make for your organization. Using these 4 C’s will help eliminate bad hires and elevate your team and organization.