Friday, March 20, 2015

On #Attitudes and Electric Fences

My Oklahoma roots make me a big fan of the late Will Rogers. Rogers had a knack for putting things in perspective. He once said,
“There are three kinds of men: the ones that learn by reading; the few who learn by observation; and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence.”
In terms of your ability to recruit & hire top talent, which one are you?
One lesson I've learned in recruiting & Job search is this: The “nearly-perfect-often-elusive-candidate” is likely missing one ingredient. We're quite sure something is missing; we’re just unable to put our finger on it. We are quick to dismiss our uneasiness because the candidate seemingly provides the perfect technical fit. Afraid to miss the potential rock star, we pull the trigger. Sometime later, possibly while assessing the exit-interview results, a light goes off:#ATTITUDE.
Much has been written of the Southwest Airlines creed: hire for attitude, train for skill. Libby Sartain, former VP of the People Department at Southwest, once said,
“The ultimate employee is someone whose devotion to customer and company amounts to a sense of mission, a sense that ‘the cause’ comes before their own needs.”
In the same article, FastCompany asked Jose Colmenares (Southwest Recruiter) “What he’s looking for in a candidate?" You gotta love his answer:
“An attitude. A genuineness – a sense of what it takes to be one of us.”
Pat Riley talks about people afflicted with the “disease of me.” Diseased team members, Riley says, “…develop an overpowering belief in their own importance. Their actions virtually shout the claim, ‘I’m the one.” Riley asserts that the disease always has the same inevitable result: “The Defeat of Us.”
Are we doing all we can to avoid “The Defeat of Us?”
The secret ingredient should be a bit easier to detect these days, given our lessons learned and our first-hand observation of world-class recruiting organizations who are modeling it for us every day.
So, here’s to attitudes and electric-fences.
May we find our good share of the first and keep learning our lessons from the latter.

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