Hire Like Steve Jobs
What can YMCA Professionals learn about hiring from one of the best entrepreneurs of our time?
Written By: Patrick Valtin (www.nofailhiring.com) is the author of No Fail Hiring
Steve Jobs was an amazing and unconventional leader in many respects. His reputation as the best entrepreneur of our time can be summarized in a few words: He and his top executives never compromised when it came to the talents and qualifications required of their employees. He personally interviewed more than 5,000 applicants during his career
What can YMCA professionals learn about hiring from Steve Jobs? Weed out the best people for your organization by looking for these attributes:
1. Vision-minded. Everyone joining Apple must have a clear picture of its management vision – and fully agree to fight for it, defend it, and live with it every day. When you hire people who don’t care about your YMCA’s vision, you are wasting your time and theirs.
2. Innovation-minded. Steve Jobs always emphasized the vital importance of hiring people who are willing to create something from nothing. Applicants are chosen for their willingness to constantly create, rather than for technical competence. Think about how hiring more innovative people could impact your YMCA. Steve Jobs was an amazing and unconventional leader in many respects. His reputation as the best entrepreneur of our time can be summarized in a few words: He and his top executives never compromised when it came to the talents and qualifications required of their employees. He personally interviewed more than 5,000 applicants during his career.
3. Passion-minded. Steve Jobs’ first principle is: “Do what you love.” People are hired because they love the product, the company, and its vision. Applicants who do not demonstrate a genuine passion and love for the company’s purposes and business philosophy will never make it. Do the people you are hiring love your YMCA and the work they do there?
4. Contribution-minded. A statement given by an Apple recruiter is clear enough: “We don’t want someone who desires to retire with a gold watch. We want entrepreneurs, demonstrated winners, high-energy contributors who define their previous job in terms of what they contributed and not what their title was.”
5. Engagement-minded. Apple management is strict on employees’ level of commitment. Inspired, cause-driven individuals make the whole difference in the most challenging environments. Think about what an engaged YMCA employee should look like. Steve Jobs was known for his passion of perfection. Applicants who do not share that passion for excellence do not have a chance.
TWO OTHER CRITICAL ATTRIBUTES
Honesty. Did you know that one-third of all business failures in the U.S. are due to employee theft? Also, 95 percent of all U.S. companies are victims of theft and yet only 10 percent ever discover it. Everybody recognizes the importance of honesty, so it makes sense to evaluate it prior to evaluating any other soft skill.
There are strong indicators that allow you to precisely evaluate honesty. Here are just a few: gaps in the resume, contradictory data between the resume and your standard job application, negative reaction or embarrassment from the applicant to your challenging questions, and lack of accuracy in applicant’s explanations of previous achievements.
Willingness. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 87 percent of employee failures are due to unwillingness to do the job. You can’t simply force someone to do something if they do not want to. Such persons will do what you want to keep their job—but they will not really put their heart into it.
Most applicants will tell you that they are willing, of course. The key to finding out if they are honest is to ask them to prove it. Challenge them to demonstrate that they have been willing to work hard, learn something new, question their old habits, work under tough conditions, etc. The way you do this is simply by asking them to give you specific examples when they had to display such willingness. So, hire the Steve Jobs way, by all means. But don’t be fooled by people who will say whatever they need to say to get the position. It’s your responsibility as a YMCA leader to hire the person who will truly further your organization’s missions and goals—not just the one who really needs a job.