Hiring people with great personalities?
Most companies follow the same hiring strategy. Hire anti-social geeks to do technical work, hire a people person to do customer service, and those are the basics. But, you tend to create large divides in companies that are built like this.
I always realize the vast difference in the feeling when I leave the room with the sales, marketing, and customer service people and go into the room with the technical people. It goes from friendly to depressing in only seconds. My question is, what would happen if you employed a new strategy — a strategy where you create a work culture that is really friendly.
Employees choose where to apply to, and good employees have many choices. India’s economy has a labor shortage (for the first time in recorded history), and good workers have many choices as to where to work. So, if you have a company that has a reputation of being fun to work for, then you might be able to attract the best workers even if you don’t pay the most. Remember — job satisfaction is high on people’s lists these days.
So, what if you had an attractive office, and hired people with great personalities — even the computer nerds would have colorful and engaging personalities (if that is possible — there is a first for everything). You would be really mastering the art of attraction here. You would attract great workers, and your workers would quit less, because they liked working there. You would also attract more clients.
Some clients interact a lot with the employees at particular companies, while others interact mostly by email. For the clients who talk with people, imagine how they will feel if YOUR company has personal people at every level of the company. Most companies won’t let you talk directly with a programmer, but what if YOUR company has friendly programmers who actually don’t run for cover when a client is around?
In today’s business world, people often ignore the personal aspect of business, and this is the worst mistake they could make. Deals are won and lost, often because someone doesn’t like someone else! Sure, they want someone who can get the job done, but they might also want to feel comfortable with the people involved.
I wish someone would try this experiment and get back to me — but, someone already has. Cliff Bar hired gung ho and enthusiastic people to run their energy bar company. For those of you overseas, Cliff Bar makes health bars that have oats, chocolate, and fruit flavors, and they use brown rice syrup and other ingredients to hold the bars together. Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts typically love to eat Cliff Bars (me included). The result was that they had a company where everyone was happy and felt good coming to work, even if they only made minimum wage! Can you create this atmosphere at your company? It is worth a try.
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