I recently attended CACM's CEO Business Forum, and it was an exhilarating two days that helped me focus on new business strategies. CACM’s President & CEO David Zepponi set the stage by asking attendees to focus on building character in our management firms. The program content spurred everyone to adjust their perspective on our industry by focusing less on competition for clients and more on positive development strategies for our companies and personnel. The result of this outlook will be the continued longevity and success of our industry as a whole.
Keynote speaker Dr. J. Mitchell Perry, CEO of JM Perry Learning, shared how hiring and retaining employees is an integral part of creating a sustainable company. In his experience as a consultant for small to multi-billion dollar corporations, Dr. Perry said most employee turnover and performance issues are directly related to poor employee character, which is generally discovered after the hiring process. In his opinion, these employee issues can be avoided if companies incorporate character analysis into the hiring process.
Here’s what Dr. Perry suggests to get to the heart of who a candidate really is:
- Stop talking about yourself. Interviewers have a tendency to dominate the conversation. Instead, ask simple questions and really listen to the candidate.
- Let them carry on and on. Ask the candidate to tell you about the basic values and principles they adhere to in their personal and professional life. Dr. Perry says people with high moral values will be happy to disclose these details because they are very proud and fulfilled individuals.
- Ask about accomplishments. Dr. Perry says successful community managers will typically be very driven by accomplishments. If the candidate is eager to list and boast about his or her accomplishments, you’ll know he or she will be motivated by the opportunity to achieve more great things as your employee.
- Discover how far they've come. Dr. Perry suggests asking candidates, Since graduating high school, what have you learned about life and what have you learned about yourself?He says wisdom emerges when experience collides with reflection. People who place a premium on wisdom and apply what they've learned in life to better themselves are more likely to also better your company.
These are just some of Dr. Perry's ips to help interview and hire for character. He also encouraged us to focus on elevating character in all aspects of community management, both in our individual companies and the industry as a whole.
Overall, Dr. Perry offered a welcomed perspective shift. He showed us how our service-based industry can move forward with a workforce rich in professional ability and depth of character. I hope this perspective is something we can all commit to and implement.
You can learn more about Dr. Perry, an executive coach, trainer, speaker, author, board-certified psychotherapist, and dynamic expert on people and their behavior, at www.jmperry.com.
Clint McClure, CCAM is President & CEO of MMI-McClure Management Inc. in Carlsbad.
Previously published in CACM's Vision Magazine.