How to hire the best talent…

kat cole cinnabon ceo
photo credit

Recall the people that you’ve hired. Who were the best?  The worst? Who were the ones that surprised you, good or bad? From my time as a Recruiter, I realized that the best hires didn’t always have the skills or experience, the worst sometimes did, and the greatest determinant to their success was attitude and fit, and an intangible quality that I call heart… also called drive, passion, motivation, fire, grit, etc.

sometimes, during the hiring process, we get set on specific requirements to check off the list… a box of requirements to be filled, but i really dislike boxes. they are constrictive and limiting. it’s hard to have growth when your capacity is that of a box.

  • Bachelors degree in _____
  • 5 years of experience ______
  • 10+ years of management
  • 5+ years experience using _______

we are all different in very amazing ways.  it took me less time to learn to ride a bike than the girl down the street, Felicia.  Was she better at it than me, because it took her longer to learn, and therefore she must be more proficient?  I was a hands-free bike riding queen… she didn’t even like to ride down the hills and that was the best part. “Bye, Felicia”.

Joe and Rob both received bachelor’s degrees in business, but Joe got straight A’s and Rob barely passed his classes. Rob was a social butterfly, and had a great network of contacts after graduating. I on the other hand opted to be debt free and gain real world experience through working.

Lastly, all three of us work in similar industries, but none of us worked on the same projects or with the same people or had the same challenges. my point is we all have very different experiences.  we learn differently, fail differently, overcome and think differently. not one way or the other is better, but there is a better fit for certain roles.

the hard truth is when we look for talent using a check box then are options are limited to what’s in that box.

Stay open minded during the hiring process.  Don’t get stuck on experience & whether or not someone has done something before.  If opportunities are only given to those that have done it before then nobody would ever grow or learn new things. We’d all be stuck, and that would suck.

This article was inspired by “How Kat Cole Made It“, by Daniel Roth. A former Hooters waitress who is now CEO of Cinnabon.


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