Every business – big and small – succeeds or fails based upon the quality of its people. Have a great product but a clueless staff and you are headed for bankruptcy. Have a mediocre product but a top notch team of experienced and hard working individuals and you may just be on your way to the Inc. 500. It all comes down to the people you choose to hire.
While every company is going to have its own set of requirements and standards for hiring, I have learned one lesson the hard way. I always hire people who have experience and expertise doing exactly what I and my company need done.
Here is a simple story I recently heard that illustrates this fundamental concept:
“The Cat Trainer”
A TV commercial producer was preparing to shoot a commercial for cat food. He needed some cats so he contacted a cat trainer and scheduled a meeting to discuss his requirements. “We need one cat to enter from stage left, through a window, hop onto the floor, see the food, eat it and trot off stage right. We want the next cat to wake up from sleeping on the sofa, hop down to the floor, run into the kitchen, eat the food and then look up at his owner. Finally, we need a cat to just look at the camera while his owner puts a bowl of food in front of him, then he “meows” and eats the food.”
“OK,” says the cat trainer as he packed up his papers and left the meeting.
On the day of the commercial shoot, the cat trainer brings his cats, they perform flawlessly and everything goes extremely well.
After the shoot was over and everyone was packing up to leave, the producer called the cat trainer aside and thanked him for his excellent job with the cats. “By the way,” he continued, “I had always heard you can’t train cats. How did you do that?”
The cat trainer responded, “You’re right you can’t train cats. I have about 100 cats. You told me what you wanted the three cats to do and I brought the three cats that I knew would do just that.”
There is a world full of excellent and qualified candidates out there. Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile to find the right employee to fill your next job opening. While you should still invest time and resources in training and ongoing education for your team, it sure is easier for everyone if each individual brings the right set of experiences and skills to the table from the beginning.
What criteria do you use in your hiring process? Leave a comment below and share your hiring stories with us!