Alan E. Hall is the Founder of Grow America, MarketStar Corporation and much more – you can read about him here .
Over the course of my career, I’ve hired hundreds of people. Some were exceptional employees who were major contributors to our success; others didn’t work out. Sadly, I’ve fired a number of employees for various reasons. In most cases, I was the problem. The employees I terminated were good people. I just didn’t know how to properly hire new employees.
Wishing to do a better job at this task, I have been a student, over the years, seeking information on how to improve the hiring process.
Historically, the only criteria I used to hire someone was that the prospective candidate had the best skills, experiences and ability to match a job description. As I look back on this approach, I note with new wisdom, that it was a good place to start, but far from the end.
With this in mind, I have developed a list of additional characteristics that I now look for in an applicant when hiring a new employee. I call these the 7 C’s of Hiring and they include:
1. Competent: This is still the first factor to consider. Does the potential employee have the necessary skills, experiences and education to successfully complete the tasks you need performed?
2. Capable: Will this person complete not only the easy tasks but will he or she also find ways to deliver on the functions that require more effort and creativity? For me, being capable means the employee has potential for growth and the ability and willingness to take on more responsibility.
3. Compatible: Can this person get along with colleagues, and more importantly, can he or she get along with existing and potential clients and partners? A critical component to also remember is the person’s willingness and ability to be harmonious with you, his or her boss.
4. Commitment: Is the candidate serious about working for the long term? Or is he or she just passing through, always looking for something better? A history of past jobs and time spent at each provides clear insight on the matter.
5. Character: Does the person have values that align with yours? Are they honest, and do they tell the truth and keep promises? Are they above reproach? Are they selfless and a team player?
6. Culture: Every business has a culture or a way that people behave and interact with each other. Culture is based on certain values, expectations, policies and procedures that influence the behavior of a leader and employees. Workers who don’t reflect a company’s culture tend to be disruptive and difficult.
7. Compensation: As the employer, be sure the person hired agrees to a market based compensation package and is satisfied with what is offered. If not, an employee may feel unappreciated and thereby under perform.
The goal of the interviewer should be to see the potential of an applicant and compare it versus other contestants; then once the employee is hired, assist the worker in unlocking the innate talent waiting to emerge.
The secret management tool to foster personal employee growth and fulfillment is to fully delegate a task to a worker, empower them with authority and accountability, and let him or her feel full ownership of the task. Management’s role is to conduct frequent follow up meetings and provide resources, encouragement and assistance.
My favorite example of how the 7 C’s and empowering the employee is an early hire by the name of Jeff Pearson.
Pearson worked for our retail channel operations at MarketStar. In my opinion, he possessed amazing capacity to exceed all expectations. Prior to joining MarketStar, he worked for R.C. Willey in the warehouse and as a delivery truck driver moved his way up through our company’s organization. His initial role was as a rep for one of our retail clients.
He then became a team leader and in time became the client account manager, a major management responsibility with a multi-million dollar revenue target. His progress was fast. He studied continually on how to improve himself and execute his duties better. He found a leader within the organization who provided him with wise counsel. He received consistently high marks during his performance reviews. He was indeed a rising star with terrific potential.
Then the day came that our client wanted to hire him. For us and for him, we saw the move as both rewarding and exciting. He moved his family to the Midwest to work for a Fortune 500 company. He advanced again within the national company and eventually became a corporate leader. Today he is the vice president of a large retail organization.
Pearson was an excellent example of how an employee that possess these 7C’s combined with a business that encourages, supports and empowers its employees can achieve the highest levels of success both personally and for the business.
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