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Do they walk the talk
A Practical Approach to Hiring
The Principle of 'Walking the Talk'
One of the surest ways to gauge the potential effectiveness of a candidate you're looking to hire is by observing how they manage their personal and professional affairs. "Walking the talk" – the principle of leading by example and living according to one's words and principles – can tell you a lot about who you are bringing onboard and their potential capacity.
The Engineer: Attention to Detail
Delving into the realm of technology and engineering, the principle of 'walking the talk' manifests differently. If you're hiring an engineer, one could ask: are they engineering their own life in an organized, systematic, and efficient manner?
Consider something as telling as their vehicle. Is it well-kept, clean? How’s the paint? When you open the hood what does it look like in there. It doesn’t matter if it's got a quarter-million miles on the clock, in fact if it does even better.
If they’ve done upgrades, did the focus on price or quality?
This level of care and attention to detail is often indicative of how they might handle your projects.
The Physical Trainer: Fitness in Practice
Another great example is the hiring of a physical trainer. This is a role where the 'product' is the trainer's expertise, ability, and ultimately their physical health. If they are in good shape, it shows they practice what they preach. Their general physique, discipline, and lifestyle serve as a live demonstration of their skills and abilities.
A skilled physical trainer understands the importance of both exertion and recovery. They know how to periodize your schedule, when to stress the body, and how to manage your recovery. But the value of their expertise shines most in acknowledging the significance of the less glamorous aspects of training.
The Consulting Firm: Recognizing Maintenance and Documentation
Similarly, a good consulting firm goes beyond the immediate task at hand. They see the big picture, and they understand that glamorous, high-impact deliverables are only a part of the story.
Just as with the trainer, these firms recognize the importance of maintenance – things like regular system updates, checks, and documentation. While these tasks may not get the spotlight, they are the necessary groundwork that supports high-impact solutions. The documentation work is critical for the sustainability of the system, creating a clear roadmap for future troubleshooting and upgrades.
This is what I call "doing the work" – the less glamorous, yet vital tasks that are crucial to achieving the ultimate results.
The Technology Firms: Incongruity between Claim and Action
Technology and consulting firms provide another potent example. They often claim to be experts in cutting-edge technology, yet the functionality and design of their own internal systems tell a different story.
In such instances, you might wonder: are they taking shortcuts, or do they simply lack the expertise they claim to have? A true expert wouldn't resort to less-than-optimal solutions when better, albeit more advanced, alternatives exist. Inefficiency or outdated approaches may signal not just a lack of attention, but potentially a significant deficit in their claimed skills. Furthermore, it speaks to the company they keep, I mean how do you look your peer in the eye and explain your pile of trash.
Hiring Expertise: The Core of Value
In the end, when hiring, what you are truly investing in is expertise. A skilled physical trainer, for example, understands not only the exertion but also the recovery. They know how to periodize your schedule, when to stress the body, and how to manage your recovery. Their expertise lies in balancing these factors to help you achieve optimal fitness.
Similarly, a good consulting firm goes beyond the immediate task at hand. They possess the foresight to look around corners, anticipate future needs, and adapt current strategies to ensure you're ready for what's coming next. They build systems not just for the present, but with the flexibility and foresight to accommodate future growth and changes.
This is the real value of hiring for expertise - you're not just paying for a service, but for the accumulated experience, foresight, and skill that allows these professionals to deliver tailored solutions that foresee and accommodate your evolving needs.
So, next time you are interviewing a candidate or a firm, don't just focus on what they say. Look for those who embody the principles and professionalism they promote - those who are truly walking their talk. They are more likely to deliver results that mirror the high standards they set for themselves.