Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hire Personality

You’ve seen it before, and you’ll see it again. You hire the guy with the most experience and education and he turns out to be a jerk. You hope (pray) that once he gets to work he has good customer service skills and he gets along with his new co-workers. Oops. You’ve just wasted a whole bunch of time and ticked off a lot of people because that little voice that was talking to you really did make sense after all.

Sometimes you have to take a closer look at the situation and head a bit off the beaten path. Use your gut instinct. That’s what it’s there for. If you need to take a little more time to train someone else that doesn’t have as much experience but has a great personality, do it. These are the people that are looking outside the box – top, bottom, and sides. They WANT to work for you.

Take a look at a couple of successful examples. In 1984 Michael Eisner became Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. Prior to that, he had been President of Paramount Pictures. He was pretty darn successful at what he did but was passed up for the top job because they felt he was “too childlike”. Paramount’s loss was Disney’s gain. The first decade of Eisner’s reign (prior to the internal frays) blew Paramount away.

Not being a big Internet shopper, I first learned of Zappos on The Apprentice. What I learned of this very successful Internet shoe (and now much more) company made me go “wow”. Zappos' hiring policy stands in favor of personality rather than job experience. CEO Tony Hsieh says that, “One of our core values is to be humble. So if there is someone who is really talented, and we know they will make an immediate impact on our top or bottom line, but they are really egotistical, then we won’t hire them.”

The idea is to keep the stress level down, not to increase it. Supervisors shouldn’t have to be always looking over staff’s shoulders and your customers shouldn't have to suffer. Go for the people who are going to be most advantageous to you, without you having to baby sit and continuously watch them. Everything from teamwork to customer service will benefit.


Jon said...

Great post! The thing that seems to be skipped in a lot of interviews, personality, is really important when it comes to bringing the right folks onto your team.

We really like to make sure our core values/culture are at the heart of everything we do at Zappos. To see how they affect everything we do, check out http://www.zapposinsights.com. I also recommend http://blogs.zappos.com for a look at the fun/weird environment at work!

Andy Uskavitch said...

Thanks for posting and also the additional Zappos info. Definately, more organizations need to be thinking like this.