Posted by: Christine Donovan | May 21, 2009

Customer Service: Hire for Attitude

It’s an interesting business fact  — if you employ good people you tend to attract other good people. 

If it’s difficult to get a job with you, more good people will want to work for you.  After all, there is pride in landing a job at a place that is known for selectivity.

For many years the interview-to-hire ratio at Disneyland was 10 to 1.  At the time I was hired (a couple of decades ago), it took most people a few tries before getting in (including me!).  And keep in mind… these were jobs in food service, janitorial, merchandise and ride operations – basically positions that didn’t require much, or any, experience, training, or skill.  We were college kids needing part-time work, and Disneyland provided not only flexible hours and great pay, but a wonderful work environment. 

So it stood to reason that we would be clamoring for Disney jobs, and that there were ten times more of us than there were positions to fill.Considering most of us had little or no work experience, Disney hired us based on two criteria: our clean-cut “look,” and of course… our attitude.

 It goes without saying then if you have a lot of people to select from, you can make better hiring decisions, and then you can hire people with great attitudes and strong work ethics.  There is an old HR maxim, “Hire for attitude; train for skill.”  That is one of the wisest leadership guidelines I ever learned.

The moral to this story is: hire selectively, train your employees well, treat them well, pay them well, reward them for good performance, give them career opportunities (if applicable) and you will soon find yourself hiring the best.
Your customers will appreciate it, and you will be on your way to building a culture, and reputation, for exceptional service.

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