Hiring Wisdom: Are You Hiring Employees Who Really, Truly Care?

Illustration by istockphoto.com
Illustration by istockphoto.com

The most powerful competitive advantage any organization can have is employees WHO CARE.

People who care about doing their jobs well. Who care about the quality of your products. Who care about the services they provide. Who care about your customers and about one another.

You’ve most certainly frequented a business where someone didn’t care; perhaps a retail store where customer service was non-existent. Or a hotel where the desk chair in your room was broken and, even though you called for a replacement, no one followed through. How about a convenience store where the floor in front of a beverage case was dirty and sticky?

You remember people who don’t care

In each of these instances, someone just didn’t care.

And you have probably been memorably impressed by someone who did care. Perhaps a waitperson who offered a complimentary dessert because a meal wasn’t properly prepared. Or the online customer service rep who helped you find exactly the right slippers for your hard to please mother. How about the insurance agent who handled your claim so quickly that the acknowledgement letter from the home office arrived after the claim was taken care of?

So, how do you identify and hire people who care? Look for those who go out of their way to help others and who like to solve problems.

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5 questions to screen in the best

Here are a few interview questions that will help you screen in the best (and screen out the rest):

  1. Have you ever had bad service at a restaurant or store? What made the service bad and how did you deal with it?
  2. When I say, “making an extra effort,” what does that mean to you?
  3. Tell me about the best recognition you ever received at work. What was it for and how were you recognized?
  4. Tell me about a time you went above and beyond what was expected of you at work (or in school).
  5. Have you ever noticed a co-worker having difficulty learning a task or meeting a deadline? What did you do about it?

Once you have a team of people who care, it’s up to you to set and keep your standards high. You have to demonstrate you care (about the company, its customers, and your employees) and you have to reinforce your team’s caring behaviors with frequent, sincere recognition and rewards.

“There is no future in any job. The future is in the way you do your job.”

This was originally published in the September 2012 Humetrics Hiring Hints newsletter.

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.


4 Comments on “Hiring Wisdom: Are You Hiring Employees Who Really, Truly Care?

  1. The word care is a strong and many facetted word and a good one as it can be applied in so many different ways. Care is also about going that extra mile and caring about interest and preparation if job seeking. Care is at the heart of many businesses as it is the caring that makes a difference whether a success or failure. Call it care or not, but it was actually care that brought Apple to where they are today, and for that matter any globally or locally leading company, why care is all that matters.      

  2. By identifying people who care about your business, you’re also increasing the quality of your job applicants. Your current employees can vouch for your business, give more specific referrals, and become an advocate. You can take it a step further by ensuring the content of your job descriptions is relevant and to the point.

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