We’re always looking for good people at Advantage. I strongly believe in building your company around world class employees, no matter its size. And, funnily enough, sometimes the qualities that we look for in new hires aren’t what the most important traits are at the end of the day. Here are the top three things I’ve learned to look for over the last 6 months.
1. Intelligence trumps experience. I took a leap of faith and hired a young lady with ZERO sales experience and a very academics-heavy background. Not only did she pick the payroll knowledge up right away but she’s crushing it in the field. Sometimes I lean towards hiring candidates with lots of industry experience, but find that training them requires a lot of “untraining” first, then overcoming resistance to our internal procedures. Someone bright and inexperienced is a clean slate. I’m going to do this again!
2. Teamwork. Sometimes looking for the top dog who succeeds best solo isn’t the wisest route. I rolled out a mentor program at the office targeting top reps (both sales and customer service) and have seen incredible success as they directly impart years worth of invaluable knowledge right to the new employee. Finding a team player is on the top of my list now when hiring.
3. A true work ethic. When hiring for customer service staff, I’ve learned that hiring someone with a great work ethic, someone who takes a sense of pride in their work will work harder on each project and handle each call, no matter how difficult, with care. In fact, I’m working on putting incentives in place to reward people who are hardworking and encourage them to take a leading role while coming up with new ideas on how to do their jobs better.
Sometimes you have to look beyond the standard “2-3 years experience in similar industry, college degree suggested” and really look at your current team to identify the traits that are making people successful – then hire for those traits! Good luck.
- On February 25, 2014