Don’t Hire Doers

There are lot of people who “do” and they talk a lot about what they do. Doing is American.

At dinner parties we meet someone new and they’ll ask; “What do you do?”

We like to know what people do. Doing gives us context. We head to work in the morning thinking about all the stuff we have to do. We then head home thinking about the stuff we did and didn’t do. Our resumes’ tell what we do and what we did. When interviewing we ask; “What did you do at your last job.” As Americans, doing is what we do, it just isn’t enough if your looking to be successful.

I like to talk about “how” you do what you do. How did you do it. How did you come to that answer. How do you do your job. How did you get things done today. How did you not get the rest done. How did you do your last job. How did you achieve the results on your resume. “How” is really what we should be focusing on. How tells me something.

I have one key question when I’m interviewing: “Can you share with me a few processes you personally created which helped you achieve the results on your resume.” This single question gives me most everything I need in an interview question.

How tells me if they have:

1) Initiative – do they take the initiative to excel in their position and create a process to be more efficient or improve the probability of success
2) Job Knowledge – I love this one. An effective process can’t be created with out a clear and solid understanding of the job. Based on the number of processes created, their complexity and their expected outcomes, I can quickly determine how well they know their business
3) Creativity – The more creative the process, the more creative the candidate
4) Critical thinking skills – Reviewing their process allows me to see what problems they were trying to solve? This gives me insight into their perspective and vision as well demonstrates how well they recognize problems, determine root cause and identify a solution
5) Organization, planning – A good process demonstrates organization
5) Execution – are they purposely successful, is it success by design or just luck.

Doing is great, but doing with purpose is what counts. I don’t want to know what you do, I want to know how you do it.

We all “do”. It’s what we do. So to differentiate don’t just tell people what you do, show them how you do it.

This post was inspired by Greg’s insightful question..