Bad Girl, Good Business

Bad Boyfriends and Good Hires

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Finding the right guy is a lot like finding the right employees 

When the thrill is gone, you should move on!

I had dinner last night with a woman who had been married three times. A few nights ago, I was hanging out with a woman who was delighting us with bad Tinder date stories.

We’re in the process of re-staffing and growing my marketing consulting company (theONswitch, for those of you who are naive enough to believe that content generation (aka blogging and writing)  is a lucrative career). I’ve been thinking a lot about what kinds of people are the right “fit” with our culture and my work style.

I learned about recruiting techniques from Seth Flowerman, one of my former clients who grew a million dollar business right out of college. (These millennials sometimes know some useful stuff!) He taught me how to hire for talent and train for skills. And that “talent” includes attitude, ethics, communication style, and energy level. I can train anyone how to use and analyze social media (provided they are social and great writers). If someone has “issues” (bad attitude, too much drama, lack of organization or self-awareness) but is incredibly talented, no amount of training or patience will help.

So, back to the women I referenced in the first paragraph. They often saw the signs of dysfunction and distrust early on, but chose to look the other way. Over time, the issues just grew bigger. Most people are reluctant (especially as they get older) to own their own “stuff” and work to fix it.

What are some of those danger signs when interviewing/hiring?

  • Lateness (especially chronic): It’s a sign of an inability to plan and organize
  • Bad Manners and Sloppiness: My friend and colleague Wendi Caplan-Carroll often draws parallels between the sales process and dating. If a guy belches at the dinner table or barks at a waiter, something is amiss. If a candidate doesn’t send a thank you note after an interview or writes a note full of typos and grammatical errors, pay attention.
  • Defensiveness: If you can’t take criticism, you will never grow and evolve.
  • Fibbing or vagueness: References are usually worthless, but if you ask the same questions many different ways you can sometimes get to the truth.
  • Negativity: Life is way too short for drama and whining.
  • Cultural obliviousness: I’m not one to judge. I watch “The Bachelor” sometimes. I don’t require that my team reads the Classics. But being in touch with social, cultural, and technology trends today is critical.
  • Disloyalty and narcissism: If an employee or business colleague is constantly kanoodling with other people/companies he or she isn’t in it for the long-term. Building a business (like a relationship) requires a certain level of commitment (time and team). Growth comes from the “we” rather than the “me.”
  • Lack of Curiosity: Especially in the marketing world, failure to learn new things independently can mean sudden death (or dinosaur-like extinction). And, if you don’t know the answer, just Google it or watch a YouTube video
  • Lack of Empathy: This is a hard one to gauge. But human kindness goes a long way in business and in life.

So, as you are interviewing and hiring, don’t be afraid to “swipe left” or excuse yourself quickly during the first date. A broken bottom line can take longer to heal than a broken heart.

BGGB.OkeyDokey-fred The best interview questions to ask.
BGGB_ShakingHands Beyond the handshake (or hug). Why you need to write offer letters.
BGGB_Thumbs-Down-fred Breaking up is hard to do. Here’s how to fire someone. 
BGGB_Pointer More hiring danger signs. (And some dating danger signs, just for fun.)



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