Hiring Assets

By Matthew Beecher Jan 5, 2012
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In recruiting, hiring managers often fill positions based on corporate-specified education levels and years of experience. This two-step checklist can give hiring managers a false sense of completion. When managers settle into the checklist mentality, they often fail to identify how the candidates can further enhance the entire workplace.

In an asset frame of mind, a hiring manager begins to take on a consultant role, looking at inefficiencies and weaknesses in the department and determining characteristics and strengths that may improve those problems. With this shift, hiring moves from filling a void to mitigating corporate inadequacy.

Once hired, employees quickly become assets or liabilities in how they affect the environment.

Average employees often meet job requirements but choose not to exceed them. Even though they have strengths to bring to the organization, they do not use those strengths. These employees are focused on completing the job, not helping the company succeed.

The best employees are assets. These employees typically exceed their pay grades in value and contributions. These employees use their strengths to improve inefficiencies and cut expenses. They often strengthen their corporate cultures by fostering teamwork and corporate respect.

In summary, average hires:

  • Maintain the organization.
  • Use work time for performing nonemergency personal tasks.
  • Give minimum effort to complete the job at hand.

Asset hires:

  • Improve the organization.
  • Use nearly all work time, including downtime, to advance the company (for example, through special projects) or to advance the company’s culture (such as by engaging in co-worker edification).
  • Give best effort to complete the job at hand.

A resume should contain an individual’s historical display of strengths. However, the hiring manager must ask how a candidate consistently uses his or her strengths to advance the organization. Asset employees can clearly provide examples of how they improved a prior organization. In turn, the hiring manager can identify if the strength displayed aligns with a departmental void.

Sample interview questions for determining consistent use of strengths are:

  • At your previous job, how important was your role in helping the company make a profit?
  • How have your personal strengths directly improved your prior places of employment?
  • What are two problems at a prior organization that you addressed, without the prompting of a manager? Describe your action steps in those situations.

Focus on Verification

Since nearly all departments have potential efficiencies that can be gained, a hiring manager must make use of additional tools to prove that a candidate will become an asset employee:

  • Recommendation letters. Four letters of recommendation should be required to verify how candidates use their strengths. Two letters of recommendation should be professionally based; two letters of recommendation should be character-based.
  • Pre-interview questionnaire. Examples of prior employment achievement are often difficult for the candidate to provide in an interview setting. A pre-interview questionnaire should be required with an application to provide solid proof and examples of past achievement. A professional reference could be used for verification.
  • Transcripts. If a formal education is a requirement of the job, a transcript should be required. Transcripts can provide vital information on an applicant’s choices and historical performance.

Hire Only Assets

Asset employees are vital. Changing from a checklist hiring approach to an asset hiring mentality can prove invaluable in increasing corporate profitability. Every new hire directly impacts a company’s culture. Each hiring decision provides an opportunity to hire an asset who can revitalize departments and companies.

Matthew Beecher wrote The X-Factor Employee: Hiring and Becoming an Irreplaceable Team Member (CreateSpace, 2011).

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