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Consider more when hiring than what’s on the résumé

November 18, 2010

A dealership has its own values, strategy and culture. Its best employees fit that culture, largely because they share the same qualities. When hiring, a manager must identify those qualities, then hire candidates who exhibit those key attributes.


How important is "attitude"? Certainly, an employee with a positive attitude, even a can-do attitude, is attractive. How about teamwork? Is it desirable to foster a sense that every employee is part of a team? Or is a "rugged individualist" preferable? 

Consistency, follow-through, enthusiasm for the job . . . . Must an employee be self-motivated, or is it sufficient that a worker can simply follow directions correctly? How productive is "productive"? How important is it for an employee to insist on quality in whatever piece of the business he "owns"? Moreover, how important is it to a manager that his employees take ownership of their work?


Responses to all those questions—and others, added by hiring authorities as they consider the workplace and who they want working there—identify the attributes that should be sought in job candidates. Proper evaluations result in smart hiring decisions. 

A candidate need not excel in every identified trait. Certain qualities can be developed. As a guide, identify six to 10 key attributes for each position, and make sure the person who gets hired possesses at least the top four. Assuming a hire has the basics—the résumé items—skills can be trained.


Hiring smart means hiring on data. Interviewing for key attributes supplies data additional to—and often more important than—the technical data that prove the candidate has the skills for the job. Be wary of first impressions that are overly favorable or unfavorable, and be sure to interview top candidates a second time. 

Provide all candidates a consistent job description, and don’t oversell or undersell the job. Tell the candidates what they can expect, over and above the pay.


Once the hiring choice is made, take care of the employee. Have open lines of communication, provide appropriate training, and conduct regular performance evaluations. 

Have hiring authorities review themselves also. After the new worker has been on the job for six months, review all documents from the interview. Would the same key attributes still be identified, or would adjustments be warranted?


The article was adapted from an NADA publication, "Hiring Smart (ER15)." Check the NADA Management Education’s catalog for the full publication,