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You Must Hire Integrity, Right?

March 29 2011

I’m asked the question, “Do you need to hire all four qualities every time?”

Absolutely.  If you don’t your chances of ending up on the phone with HR is significantly increased.  I love speaking with HR but I want to speak to them about working up a salary package for my newly promoted employee not writing up an intervention of some sort.

A VP of sales and I were speaking about a recent WHIM experience. After reading the book in the fall he had immediately put many of the ideas into practice.   In fact I spoke with him the week after he read the book to get his feedback.  ”Garrett I loved the book, it has some great insights that I used on our most recent hire”.  Feeling humbled I thanked him for his kind feedback and sat quietly for a second.  ”May I ask you a question?  Did you hire him on a WHIM?  I mean did he have all four qualities?”

The silence and delayed response told me everything.  ”Well, almost, he had three outstanding qualities and just a little hiccup on one.  Garrett when we are hiring at this level we can’t always get everything.  This position has been open for longer than I am comfortable with and it needed to be filled. ”  I remained silent.  ”We believe he is going to have what it takes…. at least we hope so.”

“Which of the qualities had the hiccup?”

“Integrity.”  he said as I winced.  ”He lied on his resume.”  I bit my tongue and wondered if maybe I could be wrong.  In the continued silence I thought, this is a great opportunity for me to test my theory, do you really need all four?  What happens if one of the qualities is just a ‘bit’ off. I decided to turn this into a great experiment.  ”Would you mind if I checked in every couple of months to see how your new hire is doing?”

“Not at all.” came the reply.   We both knew that there would be only one of us smiling in the months to come.  We both thought we had it right.  I checked in ever couple months.  I’ll follow with the outcome.

Any thoughts?  What would you have done?

Remember an open position causes a lot of stress on the manager and the other employees who have to pick up the slack.  This can hurt morale and damage productivity.  It is not always as simple as it appears.  There are often ‘pressures’ to fill  open positions.

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