Hiring Wisdom: When You Hire, Attitude Is Everything

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In Setting the Table, by New York restaurateur Danny Meyer, he talks about why he will only hire people he and his managers feel have the knowledge, skills, and attitude to rise to the top three of their position — waiter, chef, manager.

He categorized employees in three (3) different ways:

  • The “over-whelmers” — Those who rise to the top.
  • The “under-whelmers” — Those who are either dismissed or quit.
  • And the “whelmers” — These are the employees who are comfortable, so they never leave. They never rise to the top or warrant a promotion, but never do anything to warrant a firing. Too many of these and your company is just average, i.e. mediocre.

In general, I agree, but when it comes to your frontline, hourly employees, attitude and the mental and physical capacities required to do the job are far more important than knowledge and skill.

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Choose people with good attitudes and the ability to learn and grow and they’ll easily pick up the knowledge and skills required.

This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog.

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.

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