The Perfect Hire
Most people would say that knowing how to hire well is a gut thing, a skill that just comes from experience and intuition. But is that true? And if so, how do you get better at something that is mostly instinct?
Like other largely intuitive practices such as sales or advertising, hiring skills are improved not so much through direct teaching as they are through thoughtful guidance. Instinct can be given a road map, gut feelings can be backed up with psychology and hard evidence. Think of it not as teaching how to hire, but rather what to look for when doing so. In that way, hiring isn't much different than a lot of other parts of running a business. There's not really a right way to do it, but there are a handful of guidelines to follow to make sure you get the best results possible.
GUIDELINE #1: Hire for Character Traits
Experience, knowledge and accomplishments certainly matter on a résumé, but a person's innate character traits will ultimately dictate his or her performance. Marty Levine, PHR, human resources manager for Hunt Valley, Maryland-based WebbMason, explained the value of a hire having the right personality traits versus depth of experience.
"We can teach [the print industry to new hires], sending them out to our partner vendors for the different modalities," she said. "I can't teach someone to multitask or to be detail-oriented." Levine provided a few examples of traits she looks for, such as deadline-driven, technology savvy and great customer-service skills.
"When I first started, I looked for experience in the industry and I have found that it didn't necessarily fit with our particular company," Levine recalled. She explained that because WebbMason's business is so diverse, industry experience doesn't always sync up in a valuable way. "Because there's so many different kinds of print, somebody [who] comes from a business forms background may not be successful if they're coming in here and working in promotional products," she said.