I don't want to work with you

I'm in the process of building a company. Every person that works with me, represents my image.

The people you surround yourself with, are essentially your company. So why is it that so many companies use automated systems to select candidates? Are we really nothing more than robots and specifications?

I read an article on 'Inc.' recently that really had me thinking. The article is about Chieh Huang, the CEO of Boxed and how he interviews every candidate for 30 minutes. The interviewer, asks "..most CEO's leave those tasks to others when thy rise to the top." Huang replies that he has a strict no a-hole policy. The Inc. article is located here.

The key question that Huang asks "Tell me the story of you, but the thing you can't say is anything that's on your résumé." I love this line of thinking. I have interviewed 1000's over the years and it is quite true you cannot tell what a person is really like by their resume. I have seen some amazing resumes with experience and credentials out the wazoo, but at the end of the day 'can they do the job and keep your customers happy'?

I completely agree with Huang that you must surround yourself with people you want to work with. In my company, we work in some very tough areas. We aren't in war zones so to speak, but we are in high demand, rapid turnaround, and delivery first environments.

We get one chance to impress and do the right thing. The right thing is almost always not the easy thing and it almost always involves convincing someone to head in a direction they were not intending to go down. This takes perseverance and fortitude. This takes someone who cares and can guide. Someone who can work collaboratively and be the friend you need as well as a co-worker.

Having a group of people with a similar work drive and attitude with varied skill sets and experience is the winning formula for success. How do you find people with that combination? Really it's about expanding your sphere and its about knowing what questions to ask when you are talking to people. Body language has a lot to do with it. Learn how to read the signs from people. Mark Bowden, body language expert, provides and excellent TED talk 'The importance of Being Inauthentic' here. We choose our behaviours and our communication signals.

How quickly can I tell if someone is a jerk? "Usually in about 10 minutes" Huang indicates and I agree. I know within a 20-30 minute coffee meeting I can learn more about someone than an hour long interview focused on their resume. Within about 2-5 minutes, I think we generally have an impression on an individual. Do you agree? Who do you choose to work with? What is your story?

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Kevin Cornelius

Director of Make It work, movie junky, sports fan and collector of luggage. I spend most of my researching the latest trends in the industry.

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