A very wise college basketball coach once said, “If I recruit a great kid, and he goes to play for another team, he might beat us once or twice a year. But if I recruit a bad kid, he might beat us every day!”
As someone who leads a team of employees, the decisions you make in terms of hiring new staff can have an incredible impact on your team culture.
Bad hires can be painful… and hiring mistakes can be costly…
But bad hires (or bad onboarding experiences) only occur because you rush to accept someone who seems okay instead of ensuring that he or she is a great FIT for your team.
It is better to slow down the process and make the right decision than to rush the process and make a wrong decision that becomes destructive to your team’s performance or profits.
So how do you get to know someone and ENSURE that they fit your culture and share the values that you want your organization to be known for?
Here’s ONE simple trick to hiring (and successfully onboarding) someone with a positive attitude and an awareness of how to work effectively with others…
Use a book as part of your hiring process!
Find a book that represents one or more of the core values that you want your people to live by as part of your workplace culture.
Yes, it should be relatively short and easy to read so it doesn’t take too long and isn’t too difficult to comprehend (Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment would not be a good choice)
But there are a number of possibilities you might consider…
To emphasize accountability:
To focus on ambition and toughness:
Rhinoceros Success: the Secret to Charging Full Speed Toward Every Opportunity, by Scott Alexander
Or you could use my favorite – to stress the importance of being a great teammate, which highlights the need to claim responsibility, encourage others, prioritize team goals, respect the clock, and SIX other lessons that will inspire better interpersonal skills!
Here’s how to do it:
At the first interview...
Once you have determined that the candidate is worthy of a second interview, give them a copy of the book you chose (one that you have had others in your organization read as well), and ask them if they would be willing to read it before the next visit.
Because it is a short read, it shouldn’t be a problem for your next great team member!
Say something like… “I enjoyed talking with you today. We would like to have you back again to have you meet with other people as well. Also – Here’s a book we think is important here. (give him / her a copy) I’d like to discuss it with you next time, after you’ve had a chance to read it. Does that sound okay?”
Their response will tell you a lot.
If they seem put off or only accept the book grudgingly, you can likely expect the same response with future assignments or responsibilities.
Remember – leaders are learners.
Surprise may be normal – but you want a willingness to grow and develop and be coachable!
The second interview is a great chance to spend more time with the candidate, and gives your candidate more of a clear idea about your culture and team expectations…
If they decide that reading is not for them, you probably saved yourself a lot of headaches from other thing that they wouldn’t be very excited about doing…
At the next interview…
Welcome him or her back and then ask them about the book:
…Did you finish the book?
…What part did you like the best?
…What part do you think spoke to your greatest challenge?
…What parts, if any, did you disagree with?
If you ask – and then sit back and really LISTEN – you can have a very powerful conversation where you learn a great deal about them…
An added layer can be tremendously valuable.
And as the title of this article suggested, it is also a terrific activity to include as your onboarding process. What else could you use as a catalyst to have discussions about your culture and values, that would also give them a chance to demonstrate their desire to do a little extra in order to join your team?
If you are serious about hiring a Winning Teammate, you can continue the onboarding process (and even involve other employees) by giving your people access to a follow-up video series.
The follow-up videos share more than just reminders of the 10 commandments of winning teammates… they also give ACTION TIPS for behaviors that will make your people more effective in working together!
Because culture is not about intention – It is what people actually DO!
And every video in the 12-part ACTION TIPS series is accompanied by 3 or 4 specific questions that your people can reflect on individually or discuss as a group to ensure that the ideas are translated into actual behaviors that improve your workplace culture!
We recently had an order of over 1,500 books to be shared with new employees at a company – and they are thrilled to use the book to illustrate what is important to their team.
WHAT ARE YOU EMPHASIZING TO YOUR TEAM?
If you would like to, you can place a BULK ORDER of The 10 Commandments of Winning Teammates at a significant discount – and begin to focus YOUR team on the importance of interpersonal skills and the traits of great team members.
Buy 100 or more, and you can get them at only $10 each – that is a SAVINGS of over 40% per book, which retails on Amazon for $16.95.
Want to get a book in the hands of your team to clarify your values?
Want to connect them with weekly email videos to drive the message deeper?
Contact Sean to discuss your situation and needs!
Even if you choose to use a different book, this idea can have a tremendous impact on the quality of team members you hire – and on how they see themselves and their responsibilities as part of your organization!
Smart team leaders are always searching for new ways to grow their team and to turn their core values into actionable behaviors that are repeated by everyone on the team.
Maybe this is one trick you can use to give your team an unfair advantage – hiring and onboarding successfully is the key to continued growth and success…