How to Hire Winners, not Whiners

If you’re a manager, you want to hire winners for your team — not a bunch of whiners who moan and groan about everything little change or challenge. Instead, you want people who know what they have to do and are willing to meet every obstacle as an image

Of course, you say you want the winners, but I bet you have a few whiners on your team right now anyway. These are the folks who say things like: “This isn’t fair. Why do I always get the crummy assignments? It just seems pointless anyway.”

If you are wondering how you ended up with a team of both winners and whiners when you used the same methods to interview and hire everyone, you may have made a common, but understandable, tactical error.

It’s highly probable you needed someone to fill the position yesterday and you were getting a good vibe during the interview. You didn’t tell the applicant the information that would make the winners really want the job and the whiners disappear.

Because you didn’t want to be turned down, you didn’t tell the applicant how hard the work actually is or the people challenges he/she would face — or whatever else is difficult or distasteful about the job.

So the next time you find yourself headed in this wrong direction, instead of just hyping the job, the company and the golden opportunities ahead, say something like: “You seem really interested in this job, and you and I both agree you could be a really good fit. But I need you to know that, in addition to the opportunities it offers, there are several difficult challenges, too.”

Although it’s counter-intuitive to tell an applicant how tough it might be, when you stress both the good and bad parts of the job, you screen in only the winners who love a challenge and really want to be on your team. The whiners will suddenly come up with a reason why they can’t accept your offer of employment.

While it may sound like just one more thing to do, you only have to do it once, up front with each applicant. The payoff is all the hours you’ll save down the road because now you’re actually choosing winners and they are choosing you.

Best of all, you will enjoy your job more and so will all of your other winning employees because they don’t like playing with whiners either.

So, take a page out of the head coach’s playbook and pick only winners in the first place. After that, take a look at the head coach’s trade booth staffer handbook.

The Interview Questions

Weeding out the winners from the whiners starts with asking the right questions during the interview. As an employer, you want to hire employees with a winning attitude and those who are willing to take responsibility for their actions. No one wants to hire an employee that incessantly whines, blames others, and justifies their bad behavior.

A potential candidate you want is one that is willing to learn and grow, knows how to create and maintain a positive attitude, and knows that their thoughts, words, and actions can be used to deliver stellar results.

Now, you need to ask the right questions.

  • Are you currently reading any job-related books? If so, which one and why?
  • Have you taken any courses relating to the position?

Asking these two questions provides you with more insight about who the potential candidate is as a person. It also gives you a small idea about whether or not they are willing to learn and grow.

  • How do you handle conflict with team members?
  • How do you handle conflict and differences with your manager?
  • Have you had skills that an employer overlooked? Did you do anything to improve that kind of situation?

These questions dig into the behavior and attitude of the potential candidate. It shows you how they may react to certain situations in the workplace and gives you a better idea about their attitude when conflict arises.

Ensuring You Find the Best Person for the Job

Now that you have the right path toward the questions you need to ask to learn about potential candidates, it is time to acquire some skills to help ensure that you find the best person for the job. Remember, you want to hire winners, not whiners and someone with a determined mindset.

Plan Your Search

When searching for winners and weeding out the whining, make sure you define the job and outline what the primary duties of the job entail. You want a candidate that has the right background and is familiar with the job tasks. If you are hiring people to help with the next trade show, find out if they have experience with exhibits and if they have any prior experience in your industry. They may possess a rare talent that can be beneficial.

Attract Well-Qualified Candidates

A winner is going to be a well-qualified candidate that fits nicely into your target industry. Use all the tools you have at your disposal to increase visibility for your job and to target the best and most qualified candidates. Sometimes you will find that several applicants will need to be screened before you can start separating the winners from the whiners.

Interview Candidates

Now use the information about the interview process and the other powerful principles we have above to ask them the right questions. Studies have shown that more than 80 percent of hiring decisions have actually been made within the first ten minutes of an interview. Spend time discussing the candidate’s past success stories and failures and try to find the pattern you may expect.

As you can see, with a little more effort and planning, you will have better luck hiring winners, not whiners for your business. Just stick to asking the right questions, do a little research, and dedicate some extra time to the hiring process to ensure you find the absolute best fit and more success for your company.