TEPAP – Day 4 “Hire Tough, Manage Easy…”

Mel Klieman continued the day four discussion of leadership with his presentation on “Hire Tough, Manage Easy”. The session was filled with a lot of common sense. Too often we settle for less than we have to because we want to take shortcuts. While that is true about hiring employees, much of the talk could be applied to any area of our business.

Eagles Not Turkey’s

Mel emphasized the point it is way too expensive to hire the wrong employee. He used the analogy of turkeys and eagles and we want to hire eagles. He summed up turkeys like this in his presentation.

At one point in the session, he asked us how many people had ever hired the wrong person and were able to turn them around. Less than 5% of the people in the room were ever able to that.

I had a chance to catch up with Mel after his presentation and he shared several points that went beyond what we covered in the presentation. You can hear that conversation here with some nuggets of info we didn’t get to in the presentation.

In the interview, he lists 5 things employees want the most in a career.

  • Great Boss and Good Co-Workers
  • Recognition
  • Interesting Work
  • Growth and Opportunity
  • Mel’s definition of work-life balance: family friendly environment.

While money is important, it is just the starting point of attracting and retaining great employees.

The following are a few of the points that I wrote down in my notes from the session.

  • Turkey’s often look like eagles and eagles often look like turkeys.
  • The employees you want are probably already working for someone else.
  • If your prospects aren’t working, they may not be someone you want to hire.
  • Make it easy for people to get into your funnel of people you are going to hire.
  • People need the right attitudes and capacity to be successful.
  • They need the capacity to grow and do the job.
  • You can teach the skills to people with the attitude and capacity.

Mel has a lot of great resources on his website. One of them he highlighted was a pre-interview questionnaire that is available for a reasonable cost. You can find more information at the link below.


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