Are People Really Your Greatest Asset?

By Mike Duke, President of Professional Search at Career Development Partners

Are People Really Your Greatest Asset?

Lee Iacocca, the greatest auto executive since Henry Ford, said, “All of business can be boiled down to three things…People, Products and Profits.”  He went on to say, “If you don’t hire the right people strategies for products and profit just won’t work.”

The manufacturing industry has learned how important being Lean is.  They even have certifications a person can earn in Lean/Six Sigma Manufacturing.   One of the lessons taught is the 5S’s of Lean Manufacturing.  Did you know there are 5S’s in hiring the Right People?  The 5S’s are built on the fact that the best way to predict a person’s future performance is to find evidence in their past performance in 5 strategic areas.

Let me walk you through the 5S’s:

Stability… Take a look at how long they have been staying on their jobs.   Today this is a little more difficult with buy outs and acquisitions the average tenure of an American on their job is about 4 years.  So go over each of their career moves and find out why they moved.  Was it beyond their control or was it a problem in performance or attitude.  Find the evidence.   Do they have a stable life style? Find evidence if they have a criminal record or a lot of DWI’s.

Skills… This is usually the easiest item to access.   They either have the skills you are looking for or they don’t.  You should make it your policy to not get caught up in hiring people that have great potential but don’t have the skills.   Let other companies hire on potential and prove their skills for you.

Success…  Did you know there are people who like to “Fly Under the Radar”?   They might have held their job a long time, but the real question is do they have evidence showing they have grown in responsibility and results.   So look at their career moves either within a company or as they move between companies and ask yourself… Did they take the next step up in their career? There is some valuable evidence here.

Salary… Financial.  They are will be on your team until a better financial opportunity comes their way.  If people say money is not important to them what else will they lie to you about? Find the evidence ask what did you W-2 last year?   How much was their salary?  How much was their Bonus?   When a person takes a step back in income they are going to be on your team until a better opportunity comes their way.   It is always better for a person to take a step up in income when they accept your position as they will see it as great opportunity.

Social… Do they fit in to your corporate culture?   It is hard to find evidence for this especially if you can’t define your corporate culture.   But what you are looking for are people that have similar values as the other people in your organization. I once heard it said, “Life is 90% attitude and 10% skill”.  So, don’t just hire a person on skill. If they send out a bad vibe, don’t hire them.

I have a couple of thoughts here:  The first thought is if a person does not qualify in one of these areas that is a huge red flag really dig in… but if they have two red flags don’t hire.  The second thought is because people are people there is no 100% guarantee how a person will perform.   But I can guarantee you this system will increase your odds of making a good hire over the old trust the gut system.

So what do you do if you find a person that has a stable work history, the skills you need, they have been successful, taking a step up in income and seem to fit in… Hire Them!

To get your set of 5-S Interview Questions Click HERE.

Travis Jones - CEO of Career Development Partners

Written By Mike Duke

Mike is a Certified Personnel Consultant and President of Professional Search for Career Development Partners. Mike is a successful entrepreneur and people developer.

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