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...

2 comments:

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?
-Eric

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!