This week I invited Karin Hurt, a business acquaintance I met on one of the social media platforms, to be this weeks guest blogger. She raised a question that sparked my interest.

Photo courtesy of Stock.Xchng and canoncan

Photo courtesy of Stock.Xchng and canoncan

What do we look for when hiring someone?

Everywhere I go, I ask executives,

“What keeps you up at night?”

A common response is,

“Finding quality people.”


Choosing team players is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.

Most employers focus on the interview, résumé, experience, references, etc.  There’s a problem with this robotic, safe, and inefficient check list. Bias. The person hiring has an agenda as to what they think is the perfect candidate for the job.

There’s a better way to hire. It’s called a Job Benchmark.

We ask, “What if the Job could talk?” What does the Job want in regards to a candidate’s behaviors, values, skills, acumen, and emotional intelligence?

This system is used by clients when hiring from the outside or promoting from within. Contact me to learn more.

I hope you enjoy Karin’s thoughts.

So You Want To Get Promoted by Karin Hurt

Whenever I sit on an employee development panel or attend a mentoring session, I am asked:

”what characteristics do you look for when hiring for the top positions in your organization?”

So, I run down my list…

  • unwavering integrity
  • confident humility
  • passionate vision
  • strong track record of results
  • teamwork down, up, and sideways
  • energetic creativity
  • change leadership
  • zealousness for employee development

Which then leads to the next question…

“How do I become better positioned for a leadership role?”

Again I have a list…

  • Develop a gaggle of fantastic mentors
  • Look at leaders you admire, and learn those skills
  • Pay even closer attention to leaders who annoy you, and figure out why
  • Take lateral moves that make you an all-terrain player
  • Volunteer for special projects
  • Talk to people who are doing your dream job, learn what it takes, and express interest

But that’s just me.

The other day I was sitting in a leadership development meeting… (this time, being developed) …and those same questions came up.  What are the things people need to work on to get promoted?

HR began their list of advice… Similar to that above….

Then, one of the most senior leaders in the meeting stood up and said.

“I hear all that… But at the end of the day if you are looking to work for me,

I want to know 2 things:

  1. What are your results?
  2. What do your people say about you?

Hmmm, that’s pretty clear.

And in fact, all the other things I chat about are all means to one of those ends.

Kind-of like an elevator speech, see (Glass Elevators: Why Elevator Speeches Matter.)

Next time, maybe I will use those… (or maybe not, depends if I am in an elevator).

Please comment:  What matters most when selecting the right  leader?

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Karin Hurt is an experienced executive, blogging to support leaders in important “in betweens” (…organization layers, transformations, transitions, values clashes, work & family)  with experience and compassion.  Check out her blog or follow her on Twitter.

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