When we began to realize that we had the capacity to train well and train fast, we began to realize that we no longer had to hire based on skill. If we were going to build empowered teams, we had to begin to hire based on character.
We learned this lesson the hard way. We began to notice that different new hires thrived, while there were some, after several weeks, that just didn't work out. When you are committed to invest in people, you need to invest in the right kind of people.
Our motto became: _Invest in the Best_.
That realization forced us to understand and define what we meant by character. We felt confident that we could train skills, but recognized that it is difficult, if not impossible, for our company to train character. When someone walks in the door, they either have the right character or they don't. This character is shaped by years of experience in their family and and at school.
Yes, schools are have a huge responsibility to train character.
We defined that three character traits were essential for a successful employee in our company: - Discipline - Collaboration - Curiosity
**Discipline:** This trait is sometimes referred to as "work ethic". Does someone possess the self-discipline to be focused, work hard, and do great things?
**Collaboration:** This trait is often referred to as "teamwork". Does someone know how to work well with other team members to achieve shared goals.
**Curiosity:** This trait can be referred to as having a "growth mindset". Is someone a passionate, life-long learner?
We then reshaped our entire hiring process around finding ways to evaluate new employees around these traits. And, on their first day at work, they sit down with a senior manager who shares with them our 3-week character evaluation process.
If, at the end of that initial period, their colleagues have any questions about their complete embodiment of any of these traits, then this is not the company for them.
End of story.