Adopting a ‘hiring mindset’

by inPAINT
Thinking beyond skills and immediate needs can yield better hires

Seán McCabe has devoted a lot of time and thought to the process of hiring. The author of The Hiring Mindset: How to avoid universal pitfalls when building amazing teams says it’s time business owners and hiring managers reframe their thinking on the hiring process.

“If you view your people purely as overhead and an expense, then you will probably find keeping a team impossible,” says McCabe. “You’ll have a revolving door of staff and will be constantly hiring and managing churn. Over time, this process becomes extremely expensive, debilitating and stressful.”

Instead, McCabe encourages owners and hiring managers to think beyond immediate needs.


While McCabe is sympathetic to the plight of pros faced with urgent hiring needs, he advises them to take a breath and think about the future. “If you can shift from thinking about offering someone a job to offering them a career at a place where they’ll have opportunities to grow and hone their craft,” says McCabe, “you’ll have turned an important corner.”

Clearly, you have to follow through on the promises you make but if you do, McCabe notes, you’ll establish a new way of operating for your company and create an environment that’s hard for people to leave.

“When you’re committed to helping people become their best, you establish trust and a connection. It creates a healthy environment that, in turn, becomes a huge competitive advantage that can lead to greater retention —and also attracting future talent.”


While it’s great to interview a master craftsman, McCabe encourages owners to look beyond skills.

“In my opinion, two of the most important factors to a good hire are the ability to learn and a values match.”

To determine ability to learn, McCabe suggests you ask open-ended questions related to how the person spends their time. “If their passion is cars, ask how long they’ve been at it and how they got started. It won’t be a full picture, but the stories they share will give you an idea of their willingness to invest themselves into something to learn and grow,” says McCabe.

On the values side, he admits it’s a bit of a ‘dark arts’ area. “The most important thing, really, is knowing what’s important to you. If you’re clear on that, you can usually recognize it in others. But it’s not a matter of asking a question or two. You need to tease it out of the individual through the stories they choose to tell, the behaviors they demonstrated in those stories, and what they’re proud of in their past performance.”


Art Snarzyk agrees that now is the time to start thinking differently about hiring.

“Owners and hiring managers need to stop thinking of hiring as some sporadic thing to be done and, instead, make it a continuous part of their business practice,” says the hiring and retention consultant and founder of InnerView Advisors, Inc.

Snarzyk says the best way to build a pipeline of potential hires is the same way you build a pipeline of potential customers: creating connections and building relationships.

“That person in the paint store or the waiter who knocks it out of the park with hustle and service may not be looking for work today. But if you’re nice and share a little about your company, they might remember you when things turn sour or work gets slow,” he says. One way to do that is with a tool Snarzyk calls a ‘recruitment card.’

Essentially an oversized business card, a recruitment card is meant to be shared with anyone demonstrating the characteristics or skills that could benefit your company.

“In addition to your company name and contact info, it should have a message like ‘I noticed and appreciated your service and I’m always interested in hiring people like you.’ Include compelling information about the work, your culture, career paths, and yes, even pay ranges. Everyone in your organization should carry them. Current crew members can and should be your best screeners.”

Great hires are out there. The key is to know what you’re looking for and to always be looking.

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