One of the most difficult aspects of owning a business is getting a stellar team in place. Many of our clients need to fill positions, but aren’t sure how to hire the right person. They’re right to take great care with this process, as it impacts every area of your business. To help you choose the right people, here are some hiring tips wrapped up in one surprising parable.
The Parable Of The Oranges
You may have heard this story, but we’ll give a quick recap in case you haven’t (here’s the full story if you want to give it a read). The parable is about a man who wants to work for a prestigious company and is given an entry-level job. He does the job well and sets his sights on a promotion.
But when the role he wants opens up, it’s given to another employee who has only been with the company for six months. The man wants to know why this happened, and the boss asks if he can go to the store to get him oranges first because his wife needs them. The man goes, buys the oranges, and comes back. The boss asks him what kind he got, and what the price was, and the man isn’t sure. The boss then tells him to have a seat and pay attention.
The employee who got the promotion comes in next and is given the same request to buy oranges. When he gets back, the boss asks what kind of oranges he got and what the price was. This employee has a completely different answer. He goes into detail about how he called the boss’ wife, asked about what she planned to do with the oranges, then found the right type and quantity - and negotiated a discount. To cap it off, he dropped the oranges off at her house on the way back.
The Hiring Lessons
There are about a thousand different takeaways from this parable, but here are a few, in particular, to focus on during the hiring process:
• Intent Matters
The first man was just doing what he was told, while the second wanted to please the boss and his wife. Look for candidates who go beyond fulfilling duties and actually care about the task at hand (or at least about the people who will be positively impacted when the task is completed).
• Choose Critical Thinkers
The first man just wanted to check the box of having gotten the oranges, and he did. But he didn’t put any thought into why the wife needed them, while the second man went above and beyond to figure it out. You want people on your team who are going to ask questions, seek clarity and make decisions based on the information they’ve gathered.
• Look For The Last 1%
Most prospective employees will try to charm you during the interview process, or at least put their best foot forward. But be discerning. Try to find indications that a person is willing to go the last 1% for you and the business. This is one of our core values at StringCan, and it’s one that has really boosted our client trust because clients know we care about all the details to the very end.
We always remember the parable of the oranges when we hire our team members, and it’s served us incredibly well. When you go through a thorough vetting process, and ensure your employees are like the second man in the story, you can rest assured that your business is in good hands. This not only improves business outcomes but also builds client trust. And that is how to hire the right person for every position on your team.
Interested in working with folks like the second man from the parable? Give us a call!