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The Simple Hard Truth of Hiring

March 14, 2022 6:21 AM | Dara Cormany (Administrator)

While the hiring process can be agonizing, it’s the only way an organization can grow, stay true to its soul, and remain consistently successful.

“We have great people here – but you have a different level on your team. Everyone truly cares about our success.”

This was said to me recently with respect to the team we have built at PromoCorner and, to be candid, it was one of the most meaningful compliments I’ve received. It’s especially significant when the process of finding talented team members is almost as stressful as trying to figure out what to order off the massive menu at The Cheesecake Factory before the waiter comes back for a fifth time….almost.

Hiring is one of the most difficult aspects of management and almost every single executive I know loathes the process: the uninspired resumes, the unqualified applicants, the lackluster interviews that end before they’ve really begun, and the clearly canned answers to interview questions are just a few that come to mind. It’s a process that is painful at best and, at worst, can cripple an organization for years – both financially and culturally.

While the hiring process can be agonizing, it’s the only way an organization can grow, stay true to its soul, and remain consistently successful.

It’s that simple, and it’s that hard.

Just like in any industry, the competition to hire the most talented, capable, and forward-thinking people is onerous in the world of promotional products and the stakes couldn’t be higher. The people who work in day-to-day customer-facing positions have far more impact on whether an organization succeeds than any new product or decoration method.

In the team sport of consistently creating surprise and delight for clients, each team member must possess five core emotional skills:

1. Integrity – this is the foundation of any successful employee/employer relationship and where the intrinsic inclination to be accountable for doing the right thing with honesty and exceptional judgement must be present

2. Optimistic Compassion – does the candidate display genuine kindness, thoughtfulness, and a sense that the glass is always at least half full?

3. Curiosity – this is far different than simple intelligence and where the candidate demonstrates an insatiable desire to learn for the sake of learning.

4. Work Ethic – will the candidate consistently complete assignments as well as it can possibly be done and embrace the grind that goes along with it?

5. Empathy – candidates must be aware of what the clients experience, but also how one’s own behavior in the office impacts others.

Why is it important to focus on the emotional skills of every applicant rather than the technical skills of doing the actual job? When you look at the five core emotional skills necessary to create an outstanding team, the overarching theme is, “care.” Over time, almost every technical aspect of a job can be taught: how to write an order, correctly using the CRM, how the decoration is applied to a product, etc. Care, however, can’t be taught: people either do or they don’t.

Building an exceptional team – one that has the core emotional skills that enables them to engage clients in ways that establish trust and loyalty – is critical to the long-term success of any organization. The true key is creating that team where the client base can identify a sense of cohesion in the way they feel and experience their overall purchasing journey with your business. The only way to accomplish this is to focus on the emotional skills of applicants, not the technical ones.

Bill is president of PromoCorner, the leading digital marketing service provider to the promotional products industry, and has over 17 years working in executive leadership positions at leading promotional products distributorships. A featured speaker at numerous industry events, a serial creator of content marketing, immediate past president of the Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South (PPAMS), vice president of the Regional Association Council (RAC) board, and PromoKitchen chef, Bill has extensive experience coaching sales teams, creating successful marketing campaigns, and developing branding that resonates with a target audience. He can be reached at bill@PromoCorner.com.

Used with permission from PromoCorner

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