Recruiting employees is not that hard. Finding the absolute best employees, well that is another story. Seems the old standards of character are hard to find in our culture today. Any employer would be blessed to hire employees of high integrity, work ethic, diligence and honesty.

Hiring and Firing

Not a day goes by when I don’t have an employer meeting with me telling me their difficulties in recruitment and selection of quality employees. They have no trouble finding candidates, just trouble finding employees who want to work. Maybe with the crashing economy it will change, but I doubt it.

You see, the desire to work may change with the large number of layoffs, but finding candidates who have a high level of character and discipline will not. Character and discipline aren’t virtues that one can just turn on and off at will. It takes time to build character and discipline.

In starting a business you have taken the steps to develop your business idea, state your value proposition, develop the business plan and determine how to fund the business. Now comes the ongoing process of recruiting employees to help you achieve success.

Recruiting the Best

Recruitment of the right employee can take time, but take the time, it is worth it in the end. Just like you can’t sell substandard product and succeed, you can’t build a successful business without recruitment of employees who are top notch.

I will help you understand how to find the best employees for your business by outlining what has worked for me and those I have helped. I’ll also warn you as to what has not worked well in the past so you can avoid those problems. Hiring and firing employees is no fun.

Keys to Success

Let’s breakdown what I look for in an recruitment and selection of an employee. First, I must have someone with high character and great attitude. Second, I look for the skills and experience necessary to accomplish the job or task. A priority between the two? If you must, hire character and attitude, train skills.

Experience is perhaps the single biggest predictor of success. This is true at both evaluating character and skills. You can look at what a candidate has done in the past, be it in prior jobs or community and social endeavors. Look to see what character or skills may have been exhibited.

You will review the candidate’s resume and references. Look for the specific character and attitudes you seek, not just skills. Check with the references asking questions that will tell you about the character and skills of the candidate.

Also, be sure not to just take references of a current employer, but go back further to a previous employer. Sometimes the current employer may just be looking to move this person on and you won’t get an accurate read.

Character is King

Nothing is better than recruiting employees of high character. You simply can’t go wrong if you hire character first, last and always. It may limit your choices, but I’d rather have a business with fewer high character employees than with many substandard … wouldn’t you?

Take a look at my checklist on the 20 Key Character Traits I look for in employee recruitment. You’ll never find anyone that meets them all, but understand the ones that are non-negotiable for you. You’ll never hire what you’re not looking for. Look at my checklist of 40 Interview Questions to find the employee with the character you desire. Be purposeful and hire the best!


by Steven Schlagel – June 1, 2009