Have you ever been ready to hire someone and something just doesn't feel right? How about that situation where you have to decide between two people who seem equally qualified? Or maybe you've just been introduced to a new staff member and you can't help but wonder how that person even got through an interview?
Hiring well is often the difference between success and failure. In Give and Take, Adam Grant demonstrates how at work "most people operate either as takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return."
Of course, no one is entirely a giver, taker, or matcher. It's what we do most of the time that places us in one camp or another.
It doesn't take too much study or time to identify how someone operates, but surfacing reality can be difficult in the artificial confines of a job interview. Many applicants that seem well-suited for a job can falsely present themselves as givers with well-prepared answers in a small snapshot of time. It takes time and practice to identify those who add to a positive culture.
So how might we identify the givers or, more importantly, how can we weed out the takers?
Try this one simple question:
Can you tell me about two people who have succeeded with something at work, at least In part because of your help?
Givers and matchers will almost always talk about who they've collaborated with on a project and possibly the way the team worked together. Givers often humbly turn their responses into how much they enjoy and learn from the person. It is common for givers to suddenly seem more at ease talking about the successes of others.
Takers tend to struggle with identifying people and often ask for clarification to buy a little time. If they do come up with a name, they more easily talk about what they've done for supervisors or they use influential name-drops, demonstrating they only give their best to those who can help their careers.
Givers see people before power. They epitomize the touch people before paper culture and with the right support, will often become exceptional leaders on your staff.
Most of our best and worst decisions happen at the front door.
Hire hard, lead easy.
Hire givers, lead easy.