e-LeaderLounge: Common Ingredients of Top Hires Apr22


e-LeaderLounge: Common Ingredients of Top Hires

To celebrate the launch of our new (offline) LeaderLounge™ series, we bring you a new digital version as well. Introducing (fanfare please) e-LeaderLounge™ — an online forum where top marketing and sales professionals weigh in on thought-provoking topics presented to them by the team @ Smart Savvy. We’ve built a mechanism (yes, a mechanism!) so we can regularly share helpful insights (aka strokes of brilliance) from these accomplished leaders with you.

Today’s focus is on how these leaders select and build teams. What makes them want to jump out of their chair during an interview? What makes them fist-pump their HR team after an interview? And what are they looking for in those first 30 days (and beyond) from new recruits? Turns out there were five main themes to our question,

What are the common ingredients of your top three hires?

1. Attitude

  • Attitude, attitude, attitude, It’s all about attitude: having a humble character (willing to learn and not be threatened by something new); sticking to it (meaning don’t give up); having an accurate assessment of themselves and others (awareness); and caring about others and what they do.” Lachlan Whatley, CEO at Metalboss Technologies Inc.
  • “A person’s attitude is everything because so many skills can be acquired through experience, but changing someone’s attitude is a much harder task. If someone has a negative view on life in general, how is that going to translate to your company, your product, your clients, and your team? You can’t fake a good attitude. It’s ingrained in you. People with an open, positive attitude are generally ascending in their career and in life, and that’s someone I want to hire.” –Stephanie DeBou, Co-Founder at Squrry.
  • “People people. They are always motivated by making the team better and are fantastic at engaging those around them at all levels.” – Greg Oyhenart, SVP Corporate Development & Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at Westminster Savings Credit Union.
  • “Abundance mentality. Some people see success as a scarce commodity. If someone else is successful, it reduces their chance of success. There’s only so much success to go around. Abundant thinkers realize the success of one actually increases the success of others if part of a team. If the team succeeds, each of the members succeed. Any member who feels otherwise almost guarantees some lack of success.” – Mike Henry Sr., VP of Information Technology at SageNet LLC.


2. Fire Starters

  • “Top performers are driven by a love of what they do. You can teach skills, but not passion.” – Sandy Fleischer, Managing Partner at Pound & Grain.
  • “People who are generally curious about things are typically intelligent and aware. It means they are noticing things outside of their usual perspective, and if they are curious enough, they might follow that awareness to exploration. I think people who are curious are problem solvers. Instead of being quick to identify that ‘there is no solution’ they want to come up with an alternative. They view every problem as an opportunity and challenge to solve – but it may require a modification from the original plan. I want to hire people that bring me solutions to problems, not just problems.” – Stephanie DeBou, Co-Founder at Squrry.
  • My best hires see the potential to take the role they are given and turn it into something great … These people have imagination. They are problem-seekers and problem-solvers—they always have a running to do list of projects that will make the company, the team and themselves better. These people are never bored and never short of work to do.” – Amanda Lee SmithBrand Copy & Content Manager at Kit & Ace.
  • “They look for ways to make something better and take action.  Many people are very good at identifying problems or opportunities for improvement but the truly valuable employee does something about it.  They come with suggestions, options and questions and even better, a plan!” – Sue Wigston, COO at Eagle’s Flight.

3. Cultural Fit

  • “Culture to me is work ethic, trust, personality. I put a lot of emphasis in trust, and that goes both ways. Work ethic is essential, you have to be willing to really roll up your sleeves and put in your time.” – Dennis Kim, Managing Director at StoryDriven Inc.
  • “[Our culture] is our lifeblood, and we are fanatical about protecting it, and nurturing its positive growth. It follows that employees who authentically live our values have had an incredible impact on the shaping of our culture.” – Sandy Fleischer, Managing Partner atPound & Grain.
  • “Many things can be taught—syntax, punctuation, usage etc.—but cultural values like integrity and personal responsibility cannot. I look for strategic thinkers and excellent writers, but just as important is someone who can passionately align with company culture.” – Amanda Lee SmithBrand Copy & Content Manager at Kit & Ace.

4. “Runway”

  • “Often in hiring younger people or for junior/entry level positions I look for what I call Runway. When you’re fresh out of school or only a few years into the workforce, your resume isn’t what will get you a job with me. I need to assess whether or not you’re the right person for the long run. Are you someone who as the ability to grow, learn more skills, become a valuable asset years down the road. It’s like looking at draft picks in sports, it’s not about right now, it’s about finding the right pieces for our vision.” – Dennis Kim, Managing Director at StoryDriven Inc.

5. Own It

  • “I want to hire someone who takes personal ownership to deliver the outcome as expected.  I want a team of employees who get clarity on what they are committing to and truly own it.” – Sue Wigston, COO at Eagle’s Flight
  • “A final key attribute is entrepreneurialism. This is kind of short code for a potent mix of ingredients including being motivated and driven, confident, solutions-oriented, autonomous, big picture thinking, with a strong desire to accomplish and exceed goals.” – Sandy Fleischer, Managing Partner at Pound & Grain.