I want to talk about hiring. A lot of people ask me questions about how do I select an employee for a job that I’ve got. I recommend thinking about three things: character, attitude and skills. Character deals with issues of integrity, work ethic, punctuality, they show up when they say they’re going to show up, diligence, perseverance, following through, getting things done that they’re supposed to get done. Hospitality is a character trait and so forth. Obviously if you had a restaurant or a hotel you’d want someone who’s good at hospitality. Character traits are really important.
Attitudes, the attitude that they bring to the table, do they fit chemistry-wise within your organization. Are they cheerful, pleasant to deal with, they can relate to other people well and so forth. Then skills are the particular skills they need to do the job function that you’re hiring them for. I say those are the three things that we need to look at but which one’s most important and which one’s the least important because no one has all of those things. Character and attitude are two things that an employee brings to the table. It’s hard to change someone’s character and it’s hard to change the attitude that they have. We can make some modifications there but it’s a little more difficult. Skills, we can teach the skills, it’s wonderful if they come with all the skills that we need but I’ll tell you if I’ve got someone with high character and a good attitude I’m willing to teach them the skills that they need to know.
They come to me with really great skills and they’ve got a bad attitude and really poor character, do you want to hire them, is it worth it? If they never show up because they don’t have punctuality in their life and they don’t care that much and they don’t follow through? They may have a wonderful skill set but it’s not worth it. When you’re evaluating who to hire, think about character first, attitude second, skills third. With character during the interview process you can interview for character traits rather than simply interviewing to learn about their skills.
You can’t really ask someone, “Are you punctual, do you have integrity?” Because if they don’t they’re not going to answer truthfully anyway. You have to ask the right questions in order to find out a little bit about that in their life so I encourage you to take a look at that. Think about it, character, attitude and skills. Character the most important. Attitude, by putting the employee in a position where they can succeed where they’re working with their strengths and so forth, that can help their attitude a whole lot. Still, they have some basic attitude issues when they come into your organization, let’s make sure they have a great attitude to go along with their great character. If they got great skills, wow, wonderful. You found the perfect employee. Even if they don’t have the skills, if they have the other two that might be a gem worth following up on.