Hire the person, not the résumé

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How many of the issues you deal with each day can be traced back to people mistakes?

It might be more appropriate to ask, how many can NOT.

There’s an adage that suggests it’s wiser to hire for attitude and train everything else. I have never met a leader who disagrees; most have learned from experience that attitude can’t be taught, regardless how smart the person is and how attractive their résumé.

It’s a case of leopards and spots.

People are who they are. Traits, attitudes, and standards are pretty much hardwired and no amount of coaxing, training or hoping is going to change that. Hiring an introvert (for example) into a guest contact position simply is not going to work long term. Sure, they can paste on a smile and pretend to be outgoing when greeting your guests… but it’s not sustainable. Putting on a mask and pretending to be someone we’re not is exhausting and stressful… and worse yet, it’s completely transparent to your guest – and that reflects poorly on the management team.

But there’s a hitch to this ‘hire for attitude’ thing. In any recruitment process where the primary admission ticket is the résumé, you are by default screening first for ‘what the person knows’ (education, certificates, work experience, etc.) and not ‘who the person is’. At best, you’ll miss some great applicants whose résumés may have been ‘off spec’ for some reason; at worst, you’ll give the nod to people who have great résumés and interviewed like rock stars but should never set foot in your business.

Poor hiring decisions are expensive and they take a long time to find and fix. Far better to measure what matters most: Screen applicants for attitude, first. Then take the handful that stand out and make sure everything else is in the right ballpark.

Your guests (and your other employees) will thank you.

 

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