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Hiring is Marketing: How to Get Someone Qualified Who Will Run Through Walls For You!

Updated on September 23, 2016


Objective: This article is designed to First, help you separate the exceptional potential employee from the average warm body. Second, it should be used to let future, potential employees know of the standards and values of your company—what you expect, at a minimum, from your employees. Third, it is designed to convince you that your employees are your #1 asset. If you wish to have great customer service you must start with who you hire and how you train them, on a daily basis, to become great employees and then great customer service providers. And Fourth, to show how vital hiring is to the success your marketing plan.

Hire Character Train Skills

“Your Employees Are Your #1 Asset! What are you doing to make and keep them that way?”


Section 1

Everyone of my past employers relied on the training of my last employer! This poses a fundamental flaw in the system of employee training. It leads to excessive employee turnover and directly affects your customer base, which erodes your profits substantially.

Without effective screening, and selecting and daily coaching, training, mentoring and teaching you cannot reach the profits you wish you had, and, in fact, believe you should have.

Too many employers hire on the premise of “lack of noticeable weakness” instead of proven strengths! This article is designed to help you find the strengths your potential hires have and must have.

Section 1
This section identifies the 7 characteristics possessed by a leader—you are looking for leaders in your hires aren’t you? Consider these characteristics as you interview. You will find that each section has a number of questions that will help you discover if your interviewee has these characteristics.

The potential employee that has the most of these characteristics will have the skills needed to make an impact on your business. The dirty little secret in corporate America is that they don’t have the depth of knowledge they need to move them forward and really grow their business2.

Character Traits3 To Look For In Potential Employee
1. Initiative
2. Ingenuity
3. Allegiance
4. Integrity
5. Commitment
6. Passion
7. Impact

If you’ve ever hired an employee without initiative, you know that most of the money you paid that employee was wasted. You spent all too much time telling your employees what to do when they are doing nothing. “Why can’t they just do the things that they need to do and be productive?” you say to yourself over and over again.

All to many people underestimate the power initiative has in an average days work until you’ve gone through this scenario.

There are many reasons why employees don’t step up and do the work that is needed. The biggest is they have not been taught how to take the initiative and therefore can’t without being taught how to do it.

One way to overcome it in your current employees is to create a detailed job description, which lays out in clear details what is expected of them. I clearly remember my second job in high school. My boss told me that the most important thing to do was to never let the customers wait to pay. So I hovered by the cash register.

He never told me his second most important job function…. So after two weeks he wanted to fire me because I was just standing by the cash register. Even though I thought that was what I was supposed to do. I was wrong. I didn’t know that I was supposed to use my initiative.

After we had a talk, another employee told me “Don’t just stand there, look busy. Sweep, dust, arrange, clean and/or organize.” Oh, then I got the big picture. I learned his system. It would have been much easier if he had it documented.

As you talk to potential employees, listen for instances where the interviewee showed his/her initiative. Ask questions that will bring this out. Some examples are:

1. Tell me of a time when you used your initiative and worked independently to either create a plan or make something positive happen?

2. Discuss a situation where you have shown your ability to conceptualize an idea[s] and reorganize information into new patterns.

3. In your last job, what kind of things did you do when you were slow? What kind of things were you supposed to do?

4. When you see that something isn’t getting done, that is supposed to, what do you do?

5. Share with me a time where you went out of your way to complete a project because it needed to be done.

I’d suggest you also create/give a scenario and ask what they would do in that situation. The scenario that I like to build off is: "If you see the problem you have to see it fixed!" In fact, this should be the first line on all job descriptions! Leaving no question as to what the employee’s responsibilities are.

Initiative is the first skill to look for in a successful employee. All of the other skills that you might find important hinge on the initiative of a person.

Inventive or resourceful employees are worth their weight in gold. They are clever and imaginative and will work at a problem until they can solve it. Work is where this skill is needed at all times.

If your employees deal with your customers - every customer needs a problem solved – they need ingenuity. What happens when an employee doesn’t have this skill? You will most likely loose the customer. And lost customers will cost you your business. And loosing customers in this way is unacceptable.

Consider the following:
1. High Concept4 – The capacity to detect patterns and opportunities, to create artistic and emotional beauty, to craft a satisfying narrative, and to combine seemingly unrelated ideas into something new.

2. High Touch5 – The ability to empathize with others, to understand the subtleties of human interaction, to find joy in one’s self and to elicit it in others, and to stretch the quotidian [daily routine] in pursuit of purpose and meaning.

These are the skills of those with ingenuity. These are the skills you need your employees to have! These are the skills you really need to be looking for in an employee. You can teach an employee to do just about anything you need them to do, but, without, these skills it is useless….

Ask questions like the following to help find employees with ingenuity.

1. Share with me an example where you have used your abilities on the job to define a problem that you saw. And how did you solve it?

2. Tell me of a time where you challenged prevailing assumptions and asked hard questions to facilitate change.

3. Describe a time where you worked by yourself to accomplish a project—a project where you took full responsibility for its completion.

4. Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond to get a job done.

5. What was a major obstacle you faced at work that you were able to overcome in the past year?

Prize the employee with ingenuity, they provide the passion that keep customers coming back. Treat them as the #1 asset they are and they will rarely disappoint.


This is an intriguing topic, yet essential to your overall success and reputation. Without careful consideration you can open your business to devastating effects from an uncaring employee.

There are only four allegiances. They are:
• To self
• To others
• To evil and
• To good

Each of these four allegiances say a lot about the person you interview. Are they honest? Are they going to steal from you? Are they going to support the values of your business? Are they going to help attract new customers and build relationships with current customers? Are they an asset or a liability?

Are they open to learning or afraid of change? Are they a smooth talker or a character of record? Will they come to work in rain or shine or will they call in sick whenever they want to go to the lake? Will they run through wall for you to solve a problem a customer faces?

Questions we all wonder about and even worry about. Delve into the allegiances of your potential employees, you will never regret when you have chosen one who’s allegiance is to good over any of the others.

To Self
You need to expose those selfish people as quickly as possible. The first tactic is to weed them out before they come in for an interview. This is accomplished in the way you advertise the positions you have available.

Describe the person you want to attract in your ads and you will see a marked improvement in those who apply. Better yet, post on your website or attach to all resumes some basic criteria gleaned from this report. Talk about the values and goals of your business. Let it be known your standards and expectations and those who know they don’t adhere to your view of the best employee will not apply.

Things to look for is the person who has an allegiance to self:
• Are they a good listener? The person who isn’t a good listener will more than likely worry about making sure their point is made rather than one who listens to make sure they understand what is being said.

• Do they have convictions? A selfish person usually looks for consensus before they can make a decision. If you notice it you can easily make your decision. I recommend that you teach them a quick lesson on what you need in an employee and move on.

• Are they worried about what others think or say about them? Look for signs of self-consciousness and indecision. Note that everyone is self-conscious to some degree, but those who cannot make a decision without reassurance from others is not likely to be a fit.

To Others
You’ve seen this type of person, they worry more about pleasing their friends or looking good to the correct people than anything else. They won’t easily fit into an organization that is customer focused. In fact, they will detract from it. This type of person is focused on self and can’t easily step aside from their problems let alone help one of your customers solve theirs.

Things to look out for in the person who has an allegiance to others:
• Try to find out where their loyalties lie. This will help you discover what they may do in a given scenario.

• Find out what they do in their free time-on their vacations, on the weekends, at night, and at lunch. When you are hiring young singles this make it more difficult. You will have to train yourself to read between the lines.

What you want to look for are times when they do things for selfish reasons as compared to unselfish reasons. Do they ever volunteer? Do they do activities with family? Do they ever do things that they might not want to do but feel are important to do nevertheless? If they never do any of these things you might get the indications you need to see their allegiance.

To Evil
I won’t say much about this other than you may come across someone with such tendencies. You’ll have to teach yourself to read this type of person. They will show their allegiance.

To Good
Those people whose allegiance is to good will stand out. They will care about other people—a skill you want—someone who will be willing to help your customers and build relationships.

Their experience will involve working with others. They may be helping in the community or simply be willing to stay to get the job done when it is needed. Another good sign is volunteering. Whether when asked or using their initiative to seek volunteer opportunities this is a good candidate.

Things to look for in the person who has an allegiance to good:
• Someone who has had a lot of experience working in or with large groups of people. This may indicate that the person has been exposed to the needs of the group and has first hand knowledge in stepping up to fill a need.

• Willingness. This indicates that this person is open to changes and can go with the flow. If extra effort is need, here and there, they may be willing to step up and help carry the load.

• How are their communication skills? Reading, writing, speaking, listening and nonverbal communication all tell how they will be able to perform on the job. Look for candidates who are the best at as many of these as you can. These skills will prove invaluable in the end.

Stress on these skills should also be placed on all job descriptions, but much more than stating that they are needed. Give specific examples of how you expect them to hone their communication skills.

Let them know that you expect them to work on their reading, writing, speaking, listening and non-verbal communication skills by reading, writing, speaking, listening and practicing these skills. Then give them assignments and resources to accomplish this. If you don’t, they will know that you are only giving lip service to the subject.

Some questions you can ask to help determine the allegiance of your interviewee are:
1. How have you been a mentor towards someone else? Tell me what you did?
2. How often do you set goals? And how often do you review your goals?
3. Discuss the last book you read. What impact did it have on your life?
4. How have you worked on your speaking &/or presentation skills? Share a few examples of each.
5. Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond to get a job done.
6. What have you done to improve your leadership skills?
7. What was the last thing you wrote? Why did you write it?


You will be able to tell the integrity of most people by the way they describe the things they do or have done. As explored in those whose allegiance is to good they have experiences that have helped them develop more character; making them better candidates.

Inquire as to the character of the person you are interviewing. Ask what they would do in certain situation? Ask for examples where they have done such.

Ask questions to determine if they are flexible, positive and have a can-do attitude. Do they make excuses for mistakes made? Do they do a great job every time? And do they genuinely try not to make mistakes?

Do they, and how do they, ensure that they remember every detail of what they are supposed to do? One way to help your employees with this is to provide a detailed job description—a living document that can be added to by you and the employee.

Will they be part of the solution, not the problem? Are they a team worker and will they be on time ready to work every day? You need to let them know these things are required of them. And find out what their stand on gossip is! This is a no-no and must not be tolerated in any form.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider. The consequences are expensive if you make a wrong decision. Spend the time needed to develop documentation that you can give to your potential employees before they come in for an interview. This will help you get more qualified candidates.

Top 9 Employee Essentials
1. Attitude of Gratitude
4. Communicate
7. Build Value
2. Service
5. Be a Good Listener
8. Adopt a Positive Attitude
3. Eye Contact
6 Ask Engaging Questions
9. Never Gossip About Others

If you’ve been successful in determining whether your candidate has the skills that make a person of action by this point you’ve been though a lot already. And as you’ve noticed, you’ve learned a lot about these people already. Next you’ll want to determine what commitments they’ve made and kept in their life.

Commitment is an essential skill if you are looking for someone who can make an impact on your business and on your customers. Lets explore what commitment is for a moment so I can impress upon you how important this skill is.

Commitment is having a sound set of beliefs and faithfully adhering to them with ones actions or behaviors. Inquire about the commitments your interviewee has had in their life. Ask questions that show how they have supported their beliefs by improving themselves or their actions. You can start by finding out what their commitment is to self-improvement.

Ask questions such as the following:
1. How do you improve your skills?
2. What are some of the most important commitments you have made in your life?
3. How do these commitments effect your daily decisions?
4. What do you do in the community?
5. What are some of your passions? How do you pursue them?

As you can imagine, the answers you get to these types of questions will show a lot about the persons commitments or lack their of. Never the less, such answers will give you confidence in this person or not.

Those who are truly committed show a deliberate emphasis on continual self-improvement. Look for it and require it.


If you ask the question, “What are some of your passions?,” you will begin to see how this person will perform while working for you. If their passions have taken them far and wide they will do the same for you. Even if they are young, as they share their passions you will begin to see how these questions reveal more than the questions you’ve here to for been asking.

You will begin to see what this person is capable of and what they have done and will do to achieve it. They will be able to move mountains for you. Satisfy your customers. Help new employees and even motivate others to excel.

Following questions will help you draw out more on how their passions govern their actions.

1. Show me examples where you have committed yourself to the pursuit of lifelong learning?
2. Describe the process you would go through to gain a through knowledge of a subject.
3. Explain in detail something that you are an expert at.
4. Tell me of a time where you have successfully persuaded others to adopt your point of view.
5. Tell me about two memorable projects, one success and one failure. To what do you attribute the success and failure? And what did you learn from each?


The person with these skills will make an impact on your business. They will help you and your customers. Remember, if you are hiring young people, they may have some of these skills but they will not be development. You will need to mentor them to focus their passions and skills to work the way you need them to, for now and into their future. You can do it. They need you to be a mentor every bit as much as you need them as an employee, and so do your customers.

The person who possesses these seven skills knows how to make change happen. By the way we educate people in our public school system though, they most likely don’t know that they have these skill. They have been squelched or even negated. But know this, these are the skills you need in your employees. These and only these are the skills needed to make thing happen. Without these skills you may get someone who will come to work because they need the money but you won’t get someone who will go out of their way or as Tom Gagax said, “run through walls for you.”

I’m sure that you can imagine what you can accomplish if you have had employees that “run through walls for you,” especially if you have or have had warm bodies working for you.

After you’ve gone through this process and hired a person, whether the person works for 6 months or 16 years, do whatever you can do to keep in touch with such an achiever. This person has the skills to lead and make thing happen. A person like this is worth rehiring at some future point, if you can!

Do what you can to encourage and support such an employee, in the end, you will agree that they were a God-send. And remember, “Your Employees Are Your #1 Asset!” Until you start finding employees of quality, and treat them as if they are, your business will never reach the potential it could.


Section 2
This section discusses additional skills and concepts to consider. In considering the many skills an employee needs to be successful you should keep a list of the skills you feel are most relevant to the position you are trying to fill. Compare your list to those in this article and match up your needed skills with these.

Nadji Tehrani wrote an excellent article called Effective Hiring And Keeping “The Right People”—44 Characteristics Of “The Right People.” In it you will find what he considers to be the 44 most important characteristics of “the right person.”

The most interesting thing about this list is that the majority of these characteristics I consider to be basic human decency. But since he found a need to write them down they are no longer the basics you get from your talent pool.

The next item of interest is that he lists additional characteristics that says, “Don’t take a job… if…” you have these characteristics. This is important to note. Just as you want to let a potential employee to know what your minimum requirements are you also want to tell them what you don’t want in an employee.

First look at the skills you want. Then look at those you don’t want your people to have.

Create a list for each, such as the following;

Important Skills To Have
• Inductive reasoning. Reasoning from detailed facts to general principles

• Deductive reasoning. Reasoning from the general to the particular (or from cause to effect).

• Communication skills. The essential skills of reading, writing, listening, speaking, and non-verbal communication are not taught well enough in our society

• Working in an team environment without guidance

• Choirs as a kid. One of the main indicators of success was found in people who had choirs as children. Inquire as to what choirs they had and ask what they’ve learned from them

• Look for people who always take the hard work and are the first to volunteer

• Thinkers. Look for examples where they have shown that they are thinkers

• Leading skills. Look for skills as mentioned above in this report

• Make things happen. Look for people who make things happen… Be it in their family, community or on the job. With this skill you channel it. Without this skill you have a hard road ahead of you if you are willing to teach this skill

• Willingness to try new things. A vital skill. Most people don’t like change. You can’t survive without this skill

“Always try to hire people smarter than you. Who want your job and think they are good enough to have it today. Those people will propel you everyday to keep in front of them. You will have to work your tail off to stay ahead of them!”

— — Dustin McCoy, CEO Brunswick

Don’t Hire If They…
• have never had choirs growing up unless you are willing to teach them how to work

• if you see a pattern of avoiding responsibility

• not self-motivated or can show no example of initiative

• just because you need somebody. This is a recipe for disaster

• are high-maintenance

• are clock watchers. They will waist hours a week in mentally checking out before they leave

• say or have ever said, “Its not my job.”

• say or have ever said, “Its not my fault.”

• are not willing to do anything to get the job done, even if it’s not in the job description

• are not flexible. Business is ever-changing if your employee cannot change with you they will only drag you down

“Hire and promote first on the basis of integrity; second, motivation; third, capacity; fourth, understanding; fifth, knowledge; and last and least, experience.”

— — Dee Hock

Section 3
This section has a number of other questions that are worth having handy at all times.

Questions to ask potential employees:
1. 1 Do you have the ability to work in a team environment without guidance? Share with me one such experience.

2. Show your ability to use inductive reasoning. Reasoning from detailed facts to general principles.

3. Show your ability to use deductive reasoning. Reasoning from the general to the particular (or from cause to effect).

4. Tell me 3 things your boss would say about you when I talked to him/her?

Expect answers like: a finisher, an idea guy, an innovator, a go to guy, a person who asks for more work/responsibilities. Most people wont be able to answer this question because they don’t ever ask themselves such questions nor do they think about it.

5.6 What circumstances brings here today?

6. How would your best friend describe you?

7. What would you say are your 2 greatest weaknesses?

8. How do you alleviate stress?

9. What are your short and long term goals?

10. What type of work environment do you prefer?

11. What is your typical way of dealing with conflict?

12. What tools or habits do you use to keep organized?

13. Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond to get a job done.

14. What was a major obstacle you were able to overcome in the past year?

15. In what ways do you raise the bar for yourself and others around you?

16. What unique experience or qualifications separate you from other candidates?

17. Where do you see yourself in five years?

18. If I hire you what do I get? Tell me of the three best things I get when I hire you. What is the product (insert persons name here)?

How To Use This Article
1. Create documents to put on your website that will let potential employees know what you expect from them. Give them examples of what you are looking for in the ideal candidate. Describe the person you are looking for and see them stand up and let you know that they are ready. Conversely, those who know they don’t fit will not apply. This will make the hiring process much easier.

2. Make this document available to everyone who asks for a resume. You can put the url of the documents mentioned above on a piece of paper and inform them to read it before they send in their resume.

3. Make a checklist of things to do that goes along with this article.

A. Make a detailed job description
B. List questions of skills you want in a candidate
C. List questions of skill you don’t want in a candidate

“Look for someone who strongly believes in something.” Dr Kary Mullis

Someone who strongly believes in something will prove his/her weight in gold. This is someone capable of independent thought. Someone who is willing to follow beliefs is usually willing to look for answers in an unconventional way. This person is a thinker not a follower! This is someone who will most likely contribute to your team rather than take away from it.

You're Hired Pic


1 Question 1-3 are modified from A Thomas Jefferson Education, Oliver DeMille,

2 Aneil Menon, IBM

Character Traits3 – take from Oliver DeMille keynote address at the 4th Annual Thomas Jefferson Education

Forum – “Depth Phase: The Master Key to Thomas Jefferson Education”

High Concept4 – Daniel Pink – A Whole New Mind

High Touch5 – Daniel Pink – A Whole New Mind

6 Questions 5-17 have been taken from this article


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