Attitude, Passion, Energy, Enthusiasm

Hire People Whose Attitude Stands Out

By Marcus Miller

People with the right attitude make a memorable difference and deliver a unique payback. Last week I visited the local farmer’s market to buy fresh vegetables and fruit. Pears were in abundance. The smell of ripe Concord grapes floated from a few of the stalls. The color red was everywhere with the bushel baskets of large red peppers.

As I stopped at various stalls, I found myself spending more time and money where the salesperson made the shopping experience worthwhile. At some stalls I sampled sliced peaches or tore back the husks on the ears of corn and at others the salesperson shared tips on cooking or preserving. Conversely I found vendors that only wanted me to touch their produce with my eyes.

My buying process was directly influenced by the behavior of the sales people versus their products. Whether acquiring the basic needs of life or buying sophisticated commercial products, it all comes down to the people involved. Knowing that people make the difference, great companies hire great people who fuel their bottom line.

Hiring the best person is more than just filling a position with the right technical skill set and competencies, rather it is about acquiring the right people that will make a difference for your organization. Every employee adds value, but the loftier goal is to find people who will multiply their value.

Some organizations hire based on the position’s technical requirements and hope the new employee will bring with them the right attitudes and traits for building the organization. The ideal hiring process starts with evaluating whether the candidate has the attitude and passion that is connected to your corporate culture, team environment and values.

Hiring managers who take control of the staffing process get the outcomes they want. They know the attitudes they are looking for, and they don’t compromise. A clear sign of an improperly aligned hiring process is the hiring manager who asks for a pool of resumes and says, “I will know whom to hire when I see it.” The better approach is to determine up front the right job profile of skills and attitudes required for today and for the future. By starting the selection process with resumes to determine the skills needed, the manager has abdicated the opportunity of making hiring a strategic priority.

A great attitude in your employees is a major factor in differentiating your company. These people not only bring the skills, but they also bring passion and positive energy. What are the search criteria for people with passion? Passionate people stand out in many ways, they are the candidates that are energized, excited and are engaged in their job. People with great attitude typically read books for personal advancement or do voluntary over-time, and grab onto new opportunities for career advancement. They are on fire about their work.

Your employees are the marketers of your business. They speak and interact with your customers, suppliers and their fellow employees. Through your employees you build your culture for tomorrow, which means your employees have to share your values and vision. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, says the first step in building a great company is to get the right people onto the bus. The biggest difference between a good company and a great one is in the quality of its talent.

Build the habits to hire passionate people into your organization. The recruiting process should reflect the spirit of your organization in an up front and visible approach. The candidates that you are trying to attract to your company have many options and they are focused on building their career versus just getting a job. In the interview, help the candidates understand your corporate culture and how they can build their career and fulfill their personal mission. Interviewing is a two-way street so engage the prospective employee and let them see how their career could unfold. In the final analysis, hire people for their attitudes and recruit them for their skills.

Back at the farmers’ market, it all comes down to the attitudes of the people you meet and their efforts to create the right sales experience. That’s how I came home with a bushel of pears and enough red peppers to feed an army.

Marcus Miller ( is the President of LEAPJob (, a Human Resources Consulting firm focused on improving its clients' capabilities to attract, hire and retain great people. You can reach Marcus at 905.281.3090, Ext. 21.