Not all people of character are fully trained. Not all fully trained people are people of character. How do you manage?
I have a client who hires people without my permission!:) There have been times when I have arrived at his office after being away from the consulting role for a stint, and I think to myself after meeting his new employee, "He did it again! My client hired another unqualified person!" And this, despite the reality that he has unfinished projects, demanding customers, and is in a pretty tough market!
"So, how does he make this hiring-for-character thing work?"
When I ask the client about the new employee...what skills they bring to the table...their expertise, the client answers something like, "I have [New Employee] working with [Head of Team], and we can see what he learns over the next couple of months."
I know there is a lot of work to be done, but my client keeps hiring these new people, in part... just because he likes them.
He likes their character.
And, it seems to be working for his business.
In talking to this particular business leader, he let me know that the concept is one he gleaned from a Georgia Pacific company model.... one which emphasizes hiring quality character.
So, how does he make this hiring-for-character thing work?
They Bring The Character. He Brings The Training.
Over the year or so of my work for this client, I have watched him DELIBERATELY invest heavily in training (some of it coming from me, some from other trainers). On skills-training ranging from my work on strategy/tactics, project leadership, and professionalism to other trainers' work on personality profiles and team dynamics, my client has invested time and money into training the character(s) that he has already hired.
A Life-Lesson From A Client
When you invest into a training culture, then you can hire for character... you can hire people who have the integrity to be trained into profitability. Stated another way, if you want to hire people of character, then be ready to train them into the skills they will eventually need to build the company.
After all, they already have one of the most important skills - and one that is sometimes really difficult to train - character.
Kind regards from the other side of the pond,
EMEA Representative, VP/Director
Lewis-Gray Solutions Group, LC