Good teams are built on Character: The 4Cs of Hiring

Throughout 2022, business owners said hiring staff was nearly impossible.  Not enough people, not the right skills, too fickle…all of these ‘reasons’ were given as proof that there simply wasn’t much choice when it came to getting good people. Respectfully, I disagreed then, and I disagree now.

If you want to build a winning team, there are things you can do right now to get started. First, recognise that winning teams are built on the players' character. Sir Brian Lochore got it right when he said, “Better people make better All Blacks”!

Too often, I’ve seen business owners and managers review CVs to find people with the skills that most closely match the job description.  And here’s the thing – they do find them! Once they’ve narrowed down that list, they select the one they like the best.  Just last week, I asked a local business owner whether he used any tested and proven behavioural tests in his hiring process, and he replied, “No, I pretty much know what I like, and I go with that”. He had a small blind spot, though…he kept churning through CVs, which took a lot of his time and energy.

In my experience, there are Four C’s to hiring great people. The first of those is Character. Why? Because poor character can seep into and destroy an entire business. We are known by the company we keep, so Tip #1 is to ensure you fill your team with people of good character. “Competence is important, but your final decision should be based on the level of character you find after background checks, interviews, and integrity testing” (Rick Boxx’s words, not mine, although I fully agree!)

The second thing I look for when hiring staff is Calling. I want people in my team who want to be in my team. It is as simple as that. If someone wants to be part of your business, they will do the mahi needed to serve your customers, treat the business as if it is their own (in a good way!), and their enthusiasm will be infectious. The way to check for calling in the hiring process is to be very clear on your mission for the business so that prospective employees can identify with it. Aligning their passion and your mission is a winning combination.

Thirdly, Competence matters. Once you’ve determined their character and that they want to be part of the mission you are on, you absolutely want the most competent people on the journey. It is third on my list because I know you can teach skills but can’t teach the first two. Running an organisation is about serving others, and you want the most competent people working with you to drive customer satisfaction.

Life is too short to spend with people who drain your energy, which is why Chemistry comes in as the fourth C. When hiring, ask yourself which of the candidates you’ve shortlisted based on the first three Cs you’d want to spend time with, who is like-minded and whether the rest of your team will likely enjoy them also.

Remember, business is about the Game of Profit. Building better businesses means you need great systems, processes, and teams to run them. There are people out there (in December, I hired a new General Manager for a client and had more than 15 good applicants…), so make it your mission to use the Four Cs to find the best ones for your business.

You’ve got this!

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