Hiring. One of the most critical activities organizations and managers engage in—and it never ends.
Come on, be honest—have you ever felt vindicated? I do. ??
Allow me to share what we wrote in our Outstanding! book even though it was not very “politically correct” when we wrote it. I’m pretty sure some readers thought, Who does this author think he is to eschew securing college and university degrees? Heretic!
We wrote it anyway. ?
Before we get to the writing, though, see our image above? Straight from a recent LinkedIn news article, it seems some significant employers are coming around to our view. Feels good.
Has your organization come around? Read on to find out!
Excerpted from Outstanding!
I’ve had three mentors in my life: my dad and two gentlemen in the professional world. Neither of the latter two went beyond high school in their formal education, but of one thing I am certain: I would not be what and where I am in life today without the teachings of these men.
So, here’s an idea: Organizations should begin hiring character over college degrees.
Why? Because a classic hiring mistake is valuing “book learning” over character. Character is often described with words such as honesty, courage, integrity. People of character also display professionalism, desire, and work ethic. Who wouldn’t want people like that on the team?
Now, don’t get me wrong, if I am going to have brain surgery, I’d prefer the person wielding the scalpel to have a degree. Yet way too often organizations miss out on quality people by applying the wrong criteria.
I shared this philosophy with a client. He then said, “You know, we do hire based on perceived skills, background, and education, but we almost always fire on the basis of character, or should I say, the lack of it. We have it backward.”
Putting the right person in a position is one of the most powerful things we can do to help our organization be outstanding. Objectively selecting the best person, while choosing character over credentials, is the way to do it.
So, what is your organization more focused on hiring—credentials or character?