On a + note

#30 2010, It’s all about attitude!

Posted in on a + note by kendal0 on September 6, 2010

I have been in recruiting mode for the last few weeks and hiring the best person for the job has been on my mind.

Did you know that 47% of all new hires will fail within the first 18 months? I was shocked to learn this. However, current literature suggests that the primary reason is not lack of skills or poor job performance, but rather it is an attitude that does not fit into the library’s corporate culture. Have you ever hired someone who had great technical skills, but couldn’t fit into the library? Maybe he or she had a great resume but wasn’t coachable. Hiring the right person with the right attitude is more important that you may think.

So what should you look for? What characteristics suggest a candidate will fit into the library’s corporate culture? First, you need to have a discussion with staff about what is important to your library and what your corporate culture actually is. For example:

· What is important to the staff? Is it accuracy, a sense of humor, a reader, flexibility or good manners? What common traits connect all the staff? ( a word cloud is a great way to collect this data)

· When describing the library, what words do you use? Customer service? Student achievement? What are your buzz words?

Once you have a firm grasp of your corporate culture, look for traits that will support it. For example: if teamwork is essential in your environment, then the ability to be coached and collaborative are important as, as well as an easy going, flexible temperament will be essential. How do you assess a candidate’s attitude?

· Don’t ask too many questions. By asking no more than 20 questions in a 60-75 minute interview, you will encourage the candidate to talk and set the stage so you can really listen.

· Listen for those buzz words and ideas that define the libraries culture.

· I believe people essentially are honest when they talk about themselves. So ask the “tell me about yourself” and the “what are your strengths and weaknesses” questions. However, be sure and follow up with specific probing questions, so you learn how they deal with issues and processes and how they learn.

Attitude is the number one predictor of job success, so hiring the right person with the attitude that fits your library is fundamental. Have a great week.

Kitty Pope
kpope @ alliancelibrarysystem.com #30 September/10


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