Hiring by Chocolate Chip Cookie

chocolate chip cookieI believe in Heroes. Tom Peters, author of the best-selling book In Search of Excellence, is one of my Heroes. One of the reasons why is how he hires. I had the honor of going to one of his workshops early in my career when I worked at Walt Disney World. He told a story of a time when a young man came to interview for a position at his firm.   He entered Tom’s office perfectly dressed, new haircut, briefcase and a crisp resume. Tom asked him to sit down and hand him his resume. Tom immediately threw the resume in the trash. The young man was shocked but worked hard to keep his composure. Tom laughed and asked him, “So are you shocked that I did that?” Thinking it was a trick question the young man said, “No, Mr. Peters I am sure you expect for me to understand myself”. Tom chuckled and said, “I don’t care about resumes. I don’t care about what jobs you have had, what accomplishments you have had at your jobs, your hobbies, etc.. I can read that and I can call references.  I want to know what the coolest thing you have ever done.” The young man was confused and said nothing. Tom asked if he needed to repeat the question and the young man asked with hesitance, “Do you really want to know?” and Tom said, “Yep”. The young man told him a story of how he and his roommates were bored on evening while studying for finals and decided to go to a store to buy beer and ingredients to make the world’s largest chocolate chip cookie. Tom became very interested.   After many hours and lots of beer the young men did indeed make a very large chocolate chip cookie. Though it was not the world’s largest, it made the record books for the university. Tom said, “You see I need creative, innovative, imaginative, out of box thinkers. I want individuals who will be interesting when they have nothing to do. You are that type of person. You are hired”.

We need more Chocolate Chip Cookie hires.  If you look at the job postings of today the majority ask for 85% technical skills and 15% soft skills of which everyone should have by default just as a member of society; ability to critically think, ability to make decisions on your own and the best one, ability to be a self-starter.  However, the number one training topic consultants are hired for are soft skills that include empathy, active listening and decision-making.  Does anyone see an issue?  How do I know this is not working?  I taught in college for over 20 years and the majority of my students did not come in with creative or critical thinking skills, math or writing mastery, or soft skills of any kind. Higher education develops a person’s technical and soft skills but in closed environment and it is up to who hires them to complete the work.  That is the truth, I know because the secret to my success was I was hired by companies who did this for me.

Perhaps if we hired on 75% technical skills and 25% soft skills, instituted better on the job training, encouraged job partnering, hired individuals outside the field with transferable skills and became better leaders we might, just might , not have to hire so much.  I assure you would have to time to bake more cookies.

(photo by hungryhappenings.com)

#softskills #talentmanagement #hiring #training #leadership #youarehired #peerleadersoflouisiana #vlawrence12

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