Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Secret to Hiring High-Performers? It's Not on Their Resumé

Great businesses are made up of great people. But where do you find them? If there is one question I’m asked frequently, it is this: “How do we find, hire and manage great people?”

That’s one of the biggest problems facing companies today. In a recent article from, I was struck by the author's 5 attributes to look for in high-performing employees:
  1. Horsepower: This is smarts/intelligence, plain and simple.
  2. Ownership and Pride: Do you take ownership in your job? Are you proud of what you are doing?
  3. Work Ethic: Are you diligent, hard-working and a real team player?
  4. Integrity: How have they faced difficult decisions and how did they deal with them?
  5. Teamwork: The “no jerks” rule here. “Selflessness” is the rule. Are they genuinely interested in helping others?
I love those five points, but the problem facing businesses today is: those five are almost never found on resumes.

Stick a fork in resumes. They are done.

I think in today’s world, you can easily find good people using Google and YouTube, as well as social media. Forget about posting jobs on Monster and LinkedIn. Just start searching.

The strongest candidates will have a robust online presence. Search on social media. Look for people just like you browse for anything else on.
Once you hear about someone, type their name into Google and see what comes up.
The very best candidates will have a robust online presence. Here are some things to look for:
  1. Do they write a blog? How often is it updated? If so, read it.
  2. Do they have a YouTube channel? If so, visit it.
  3. Where have they shown initiative? Have they ever run a business?
  4. Have they won any awards? Are they well liked?
Once you’ve done this research, you should compile a list of potential candidates, and then start conducting phone interviews.  But don’t simply ask where they worked. Instead, ask them about the time they failed and ask how they dealt with it. Ask them to tell you a time they took the initiative to get something done.

Once you get down to a short list, start looking internally and asking yourself “What are the characteristics of our best people?” I bet the answer will surprise you. It is not experience or smarts people admire. They admire great attitudes.

Compile a list of the very best candidates and file it away till you need them.
By the way, for experienced job-seekers, I recommend a book that I was featured in, as it tells you how to create a great online presence. It’s free and you can download it here Get Back to Work Faster.