Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Your Would-Be Employee...

If you were in charge of building a team, who would you rather hire?
  • A thinker (who lacks follow-through) vs. A hard worker (who lacks intellectual muscle)
  • Someone who produces mediocre, yet consistent, work vs. Someone who is inconsistent but will hit homeruns
  • A high performer who will leave in 1-2 yrs vs. An average employee who will grow within the organization
  • Someone who follows direction (but is quiet and deferential) vs. Someone who challenges everything (strongly opinionated and loud)
  • Will break a few eggs to get ahead vs. Not motivated to grow professionally
  • A risk-taker who tries new things (but makes mistakes) vs. Someone who sits on their hands and is risk-averse
  • Someone who gets things done (but steps on toes) vs. A consensus-based team-builder (but doesn't do any heavy-lifting)
  • A disciplined optimizer vs. A creative inventor
  • Someone who wants to climb the ladder quickly (go-getter) vs. Someone for whom work is not their first priority (9-5'er)
  • A perfectionist, but takes too long to complete a task vs. Someone who does "good-enough" work on-time, but it lacks polish
Take a second to write down your responses.

Go through the list a second time. What kind of worker are you?

Comparing the list of who you'd hire to yourself, do you look for people who are different or similar to you?


While there are no "right" answers for what to look for in a new employee, there are 2 critical factors to consider when determining a match: the work itself, and the team.
1. The work itself
- What characteristics would be important for the job description?
- What traits are valuable to the industry or type of business?
- What is important for the strategy and direction of the organization?

2. The team
- What characteristics will round out the team (in terms of strengths and weaknesses)?
- Can they help bolster your own challenges as a boss?
- Will they fit into your corporate/team culture?

Thoughts? Opinions? Experiences? Leave a comment...


Eric said...

Another very important aspect is to try and assess how ingrained some of those traits are. For example, can a gifted but inconsistent worker become more disciplined; or can a risk taker reduce either the quantity and/or severity of their mistakes?

Lee Knight said...

Good point, Eric. That brings up the topic of personal/professional development.

I believe that everyone has a capacity to change their approach/behavior, but the question is do they really want to? That's where the "WIIFM" (What's In It For Me) comes in - if they see the tangible benefits and the payoff (promotion, bonus, greater autonomy), then they're more likely to change.

Great comment!