The 2012 NFL Draft is over. The Indianapolis Colts chose Andrew Luck in the first round. They knew exactly what they were looking for… they evaluated Andrew’s 40 Yard Dash, Vertical Jump, Long Jump, etc. How clear are you on what you’re looking for in your next hire?

Selecting people is difficult at best. Often we get it wrong. However, knowing exactly what you’re looking for helps. At Chick-fil-A, we use a framework we learned from Bill Hybels. We look for three things in every new hire.

Character – This is first on the list for a reason. It is the most important – not that other factors aren’t, but forming, reforming and transforming character is extremely hard. Do NFL scouts look at character? I’m not sure based on the antics of some of their players; but leaders in the marketplace should. Are you clear on the character traits you’re looking for? How will you discern those traits? This is a big deal. If you miss on this one, you will have problems later.

Competence – Character is critical, but it is NOT a substitute for the ability to get the job done. Have you clearly identified the skills your new hire needs? How can you be sure he or she possesses them? My friends in human resources have taught me that the best indicator of future performance is past performance. In the NFL, the scouts have looked carefully at Andrew’s past performance – that’s what gives them enough confidence to select him #1 in the draft. If the candidate hasn’t previously demonstrated what you need them to do for you, it is not a deal killer, but proceed with caution.

Chemistry – This may be the easiest for many leaders to discern. Do you feel this person will fit your culture? Will people connect with him/her? I’m not sure how this translates on an NFL scouting report but they do have a category called Intangibles. Also, the NFL is full of examples of players who get traded because they don’t “fit in our program.” Sounds like Chemistry to me. Here are a couple of questions that may provide clues regarding chemistry: After spending time with a candidate: “What just happened to my energy level? And, “Would I be excited to meet this person again or would I feel a sense of dread?” In our organization, when we select someone we understand they may work with us for 40 years. Chemistry matters!

I still agree with Peter Drucker, “The most important decision a leader makes is who does what.” Hopefully the ideas above will help.[GLS_Shield]

What do you look for when selecting people? Use the Comment section below to share your insights.

Author: Mark Miller

Mark is a business leader, author, communicator, photographer, husband, and father. He spends his time helping leaders grow.