Hire the Roots


An acquaintance of mine who had a career at a company that spanned over 30 years decided to leave the company after a serious family issue.  He had worked in senior management and had helped build the company into a nationally respected power house having well over 200 employees and an extensive network of resources.  He has done himself and the company very well. Wishing only the best for the company, he has agreed to help train his replacement.

He told me that it is amazing the types of people who apply for a high value position.  I am convinced that nobody comes closer to perfection than when describing themselves on their resume.  My mind fails to provide a solution for puffed up resumes other than hiring a private investigator for each applicant.  Modern day human resource management philosophy is ultra-defensive. They know all the ways to have someone “let go” with the least amount of hassle but provide little to no true directives on hiring the right person.  And that is regardless of the fact that the right person is infinitely more critical than pruning the dead wood.

Eventually a stack of resumes is narrowed down to a few, maybe two to four.  There will be positives and negatives with each applicant.  At some point nearly everyone has been tempted to toss a coin to make the final choice.  When looking only at abilities and talent, a coin toss is often just as effective as some ethereal gut feeling.

So, do you hire for talent and ability or character?  Hollywood implies talent and “smart” is all you need.  They promote ideals like “greed is good” or risking other people’s money while protecting your own.  But that is NOT how long-term business ultimately works.

Character is everything!  Before I hire someone who just “knows” the right answers, I will hire people I can trust.  Wise people will have the patience to find out the right answers; dig in at the right places to learn and understand.  Fools can have a lot of talent at times but eventually, cost more than they are paid.

You can train a wise person to do a job they have no experience at… you can’t train a fool to avoid shortcuts and character flaws; they are drawn to them like magnets.  Those in business to build a great company and provide exceptional service hire sound character and avoid the drama of fools.

In interviews, what you see is the ability tree. What you ultimately hire is the roots of the tree with character.  When hiring, ignore the size of the tree and focus on the strength of the roots.

About the Author:
Robert D. Scheper is a leading Accountant and Consultant to the Lease/Owner operator industry in Canada. His first book in the Making Your Miles Count series “taxes, taxes, taxes” was released in 2007. His firm exclusively serves Lease/Owner Operators across Canada. His second book “Choosing a Trucking company” is the most in-depth analysis of the operator industry available today. He has a Master degree (MBA) in financial management and has been serving the industry since he and his wife came off the road in 1993. His dedication, commitment and strong opinions can be read and heard in many articles and seminars.

You can find him and his books at www.makingyourmilescount.com or 1-877-987-9787. You can also e-mail him at robert@thrconsulting.ca.

About Robert Scheper

Robert D Scheper operates an accounting and consulting firm in Steinbach, Manitoba. He has a Masters Degree in Business Administration and is the author of the Book “Making Your Miles Count: taxes, taxes, taxes” (now available on CD). You can find him at www.thrconsulting.ca and thrconsulting.blogspot.com or at 1-877-987-9787. You can e-mail him at: robert@thrconsulting.ca.