I have another blog where I write about leadership, but sometimes I write about hiring here. And with so many WordPress-oriented companies looking to hire, I wanted to make sure you didn't make all the same mistakes I've made in the past. So if you're hiring a new employee, there are five truths that you want to validate among all the things these prospects believe.
How do you validate that someone believes something? You look for evidence of the belief lived out. More importantly, you ask questions to see where they've lived out these truths.
So without any wasted time, here are the five things you want any new hire to believe.
One: I can make things happen.
When you're hiring a new employee, the most important thing you want of them is not to have to sit there waiting for you to tell them every single thing to do. You want them to have a sense of agency. That they can have influence over their own destiny, and that their default inclination is towards action.
What you don't want is people who live in cages of their own makings. They don't act until given explicit freedom to take a step. They limit their own ability to do anything because they turn themselves into a victim.
Two: I can learn anything if I ask the right questions.
No one you hire will know everything they need to know in order to do their whole job perfectly. We all know that. But when hiring a new employee you want someone who is comfortable taking a step or two and then realizing they have new questions. And most importantly, you want someone who doesn't believe they have to know everything. When that happens, people are ashamed to ask anything.
What you're looking for is someone who doesn't mind asking questions and values asking the right questions. They know your time is valuable. They don't want to waste it. But they know they'll move faster and further if they can ask great questions, so that's what they do.
Three: Mistakes are just fast ways to learn new things.
I mentioned it before, but I'll repeat it – you don't want to hire someone to will put themselves in their own prison. Fear and insecurity can stop people from taking any risks at all. And sure, they might not make a mistake. But they won't accomplish a lot either.
Fear or insecurity can also fuel a new hire, causing them to try something because they don't want to miss out by staying on the sidelines. You're looking for folks who aren't scared to make a mistake, but if it happens, are quick to turn that mistake into a new lesson they learn.
Four: I can be flexible and adjust my plans.
When hiring a new employee the hardest time I have is figuring out how flexible they are. I'm not taking about how well they bend their bodies. I'm talking about how willing they are to not lock into the first idea they have in their heads. So I ask a lot of questions about times when they had to pivot or change directions. I want someone who doesn't fall in love with their own first idea, or can't adjust when they get new data.
If someone is tied to not changing their mind (because they believe it will make them look weak), they're probably not the one for me.
Five: I have everything I need to get started.
The final belief I want every new employee to have is that they can get started right away. I have hired people with wildly different backgrounds and different experience from the rest of their team and it hasn't ever stopped them. But mostly it's because they hold this single belief – that they can get started right away. That they believe in themselves, and what they bring to the table, to take action.
The right way to ask about these beliefs
If you ask, “Do you believe you have everything you need to get started?” there's only one answer you'll ever get. “Yes.” You can't ask these questions directly, because they'll sound like there's a right and wrong answer and no one wants to answer incorrectly.
Instead, you have to ask about behavior. How has this truth been lived out professionally? That's what you're trying to get. And if you get it for all five, you have a winner.
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