Hiya! You are warmly welcome once again. Let’s talk about hiring staffs today.
I pretty much know that being an entrepreneur, you are always in the business of hiring (and firing – though this bit is not very nice). I will keep it on the nice side of hiring for today, less some people lose interest in reading the blog. I will talk about the other side another day. So, of course there is the aspect of education, qualification, schools attended and grades etc. that many times influences the hiring process. There are people and organizations out there that sometimes just overdo it, making decisions based on schools and universities or colleges attended, grades attained, letters behind a person’s name (these days some people have it before the names though) etc. Do you get what I’m meaning here?
Permit me to say a dangerous statement here. There are more than enough good reasons why you can overlook those educational backgrounds and qualifications while hiring staffs. Education, qualification, experience etc. are most times overrated. The entire world has had extremely successful people who don’t have those things. We read about the likes of Bill Gates & Steve Jobs who were school dropouts and others who did not have those big letters associated with their names but they have transformed the world in many ways. I even imagine that you have one of their products next to you now, or probably in a room next to you! Am I lying? Come on, pal! Speak the truth and be free. Ok?
Certainly education and qualifications are not everything when you want to get the best staffs for your enterprise or business. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an advocate for people without papers. However, I know that those folks also have very precious things God has given them for the benefit of the world. Don’t get angry with me. In any case, is the government going to follow you and lock you up for hiring non-qualified people? Obviously not unless you are in a very regulated industry. So why not go ahead and check out those guys? Why do you stick to those qualifications always when hiring staffs? I will not accuse you for being biased as that could be too much for you. However, I will show you that you could overlook those and still hire right.
So, what are the top reasons why you can overlook education and qualification when hiring?
- Capabilities or the ability to do the job. The ability of a potential employee to do the job at hand can make you overlook qualifications. We all know that qualifications and ability are too different things. Sometimes you meet qualified people including professionals that are so terrible that you feel like writing a petition for the withdrawal of their papers. So, you can ignore those papers and focus on the capabilities of potential hires. In any case not every job requires all those academic blah blah blah that candidates throw around in their CV’s while trotting around for jobs. Can the person do the right thing? Does he or she have the appropriate skills set and knowledge? Who told you that skills and knowledge are only acquired in class? The world has changed a lot and there are numerous learning opportunities.
- Ability to learn, think and act like a renaissance person. A potential employee with a good learning and thinking ability is always a much better candidate than one with papers but unable to learn and think. Sometimes you are at a loss as to how the papers were got in the first place. Curiosity is good as long as it’s directed in the right direction. I would be more comfortable with someone who always asks the whys, when, how, what etc. in a continuous and progressive learning and development path. Of course this is different when you have to teach the same person the same things ten times. Ok? Regarding thinking, I like the word renaissance (rebirth of knowledge) because people with this mentality are very transformational in their thinking and action. Your enterprise needs people who can provide solutions that save time and money, improve productivity through new processes and procedures, quality etc. A person keen in continuous learning is a much better choice than one who splashes his university papers to get the job and then sends the brain on holidays. This is why you can overlook qualifications and hire based on the ability to learn and think.
- Ability to connect business and bring in revenue to the company. I have always referred to the saying that money speaks the language that everybody understands! Your enterprise must generate sufficient revenue to meet all costs and make profits, in any case profit is a major motivator in entrepreneurship though some research indicates that entrepreneurs who focus more on serving, impacting society and building a legacy tend to do better than those who focus on money. Whatever the case, money is important to keep the enterprise going forward and having the means to do the rest of the things to society and various stakeholders, however good the motives are. Whatever the state and level of your business, you might find yourself opting for an unqualified candidate that can bring in business, instead of one with papers. Don’t you agree with me? Without the money in the business, you will not even be able to retain those with papers.
- Leadership skills. If you need growth and development including long-term sustainability in your enterprise, you need leaders because you cannot do it alone. Qualified and educated people who cannot lead are not very useful to keep around. Enterprises thrive on productive and focused teams with good leaders. Leaders put people’s mind together. The ability to lead people towards long term goals and objectives, more so towards the enterprise vision and mission, are much more critical than educational backgrounds and qualifications. The world has had very great leaders who never went to school. A good but unqualified leader can be a great leader to all those people with many letters you have in your enterprise. The ability to look around the corner is vital. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you should hire leaders everywhere in your enterprise. Use some common sense please and don’t go overboard. The point is, by the time you start screening degree certificate’s etc. to hire staffs I know you are looking at something reasonably serious. Don’t you agree with me?
- Extraordinary motivation and commitment. Another reason to overlook papers is the aspect of motivation, energy, zeal, commitment, loyalty etc. These things lead to productivity and progress if well harnessed in an enterprise. I mean people who sometimes lose sleep because they are seriously thinking of ways to move the business to the next level. People who wake up early morning with a kick and motivation to accomplish great things for the day for the business. Not someone who lazily wakes up to report late to office, waste time around and then start leveling up to do something serious around 10 or 11 am in the morning. Not someone who is not bothered whether the business is progressing or not. Not someone without commitment that could be blown aside by any winds of distraction. Not a disloyal person to the enterprise cause, even if that person has a doctorate in whatever he does. Do you understand me? I recently read about a guy in the US who left home at around midnight (due to lack of a car) and started walking so as to reach the working place in the morning. The police got him on the way and gave him a lift to his office. Oh my! What a zeal! For your information, that guy is in his right mental state; don’t think the guy needs some counseling. He’s being himself. It’s reported that the CEO surrendered his car the same day to the guy after learning about this incidence. Seriously! Very seriously and very serious.
- Perfect fit into the organization. Now, there are other attributes of people that are simply lovely in the work environment. Top reasons why you could overlook their education and qualifications while hiring. These include things such as positive attitude, cultural fit, respect for others, a strong connection to the enterprise, adaptability and flexibility, appreciation of the working environment and circumstances, gratitude etc. Such people are usually very engaged and fit very well in the workplace. Even beyond the office, such people talk very positively about your business, products, services etc. Candidly, aren’t these reasons for you to overlook educational background? People with papers but combined with the wrong attitude, unfriendliness, inability to co-operate and work smoothly with team members and colleagues, disrespect, non-stop complaints about everything etc. simply need to be sent back to school or taken for some counseling sessions. Come on Mr. Entrepreneur, you need adults in your enterprise. Ok? I’m not saying that some reasonable tension and logical clashes are not good for your business.
- Integrity, authenticity, reputation and trust. Again, personal attributes such as integrity, authenticity, and trust etc. in most cases override education and qualifications. You need people who are authentic and not plastic in their approaches, to develop your enterprise. You need people who mean their word and you can rely on them. You need people you can trust always. You need trustworthy people. You don’t need to sleep with one eye open thinking something abnormal will be done by one of your staffs. In reality, there are tell-tale signs that accompany people in these respects. Warren Buffet (the man from Omaha) says that integrity overrides intelligence and energy. You could read my blog entitled Warren Buffet’s Top Hiring Tips for Entrepreneurs to learn more about this. So, what I’m saying is this. Don’t touch a qualified and educated person who lacks integrity and authenticity, even with a long spoon. You don’t need someone to be checking and monitoring every day. It’s a waste of precious time.
- Entrepreneurial, innovative, creative, futurists (ability to predict the future), courage, believer etc. attributes and characteristics are also very useful for your enterprise my dear entrepreneur. Don’t you agree with me? Educated and qualified folks that can never key into your entrepreneurial agenda might be useful but will add limited value to your entrepreneurial dreams. You need people who make more use of their right side of the brain than the left sometimes. These kind of people make good use of their sixth senses and can give you very good advice on some key entrepreneurial decisions. Entrepreneurship goes beyond logic and rationale. It also requires innovative and creative mindsets. The world would be such a dull place without entrepreneurs who create new products and services for humanity to enjoy. Today some people are so glued to products and services from some creative entrepreneurs and innovators, to the extent that even food becomes secondary. Am I not saying the truth?
- When I mention intelligence I’m not only referring to IQ (Intelligence quotient) but I also mean emotional intelligence (EQ or emotional quotient). IQ is never enough and I think all these IQ tests the medical folks do at the time a baby is born is a bit misleading way of rating people. The reason is that there are many people out there with very high IQ who are simply disasters. Sometimes you feel more comfortable staying around people with low IQ because of what people with high IQ do. Get me right here. I’m not discriminative. I also don’t look down on anybody on this earth. I’m simply giving business advice here. Ok? Intelligence may override qualifications when you are hiring staffs. You need people with good sense of judgment and also multicultural competence, not education and qualifications. This is why global enterprises today put much emphasis on multicultural intelligence, because a person without this could easily blow up a billion dollar deal by being culturally insensitive. We have seen big businesses occasionally have comical and catastrophic retreats because of getting cultural aspects wrong in some places in the world. Are these new? Not at all.
Ok. Let me stop it right here. So, never put all your mind on qualifications when hiring staffs. Do you understand? Try and look beyond that. You could land on some jewels that you would not let go from your enterprise. Cheers!
The Wise Entrepreneur