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Apr 9 2013

Don’t Hire Stupid People!

At our March 13 FORUM, Bill Schutt, Chairman, Matcor, Inc., shared that his best advice for running a successful business is to not hire stupid people! Click here to see a video of his reasons why.

This was thought provoking… such a logical concept, but not necessarily easy to execute. Stupidity is not something most applicants list on their resume! Off to research, and found a report from PRB Executive Reports titled “Why Stupid People Get Hired”. It is a 24-page document, but the gist of the report can be found in the Executive Summary on pages 3 and 4.

The summary advises that “the more you know about an applicant, the less the risk. If you ask about the applicant’s last job first, you’re actually watching the movie backwards”. It also suggests that the number one question to ask the last employer is “Is the person available for rehire?” These are thoughts that challenge employers to look at the hiring process from a different point of view, starting with the end in mind – hiring the best candidate for your family business!

Another aspect to consider is the ever changing environment that family businesses operate in. Today, more young people are obtaining four year college degrees, and many continue on to receive even higher degrees. Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate to any guarantee of equally qualified employment.

A recent blog, “Need a Job? Invent It!”, discusses the type of skills necessary to add value to an employer. According to Tony Wagner, Harvard education specialist, “Every young person will continue to need basic knowledge, of course. But they will need skills and motivation even more. Of these three education goals, motivation is the most critical. Young people who are intrinsically motivated — curious, persistent, and willing to take risks — will learn new knowledge and skills continuously. They will be able to find new opportunities or create their own — a disposition that will be increasingly important as many traditional careers disappear.”

As you prepare to climb your Legacy Family mountains, and consider ways to build strength on your team and prepare the next generation for success, examine your current practices. Don’t hire stupid people!

By Beth Goshow, Communications Assistant, Delaware Valley Family Business Center

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