Hire the hungry, not the comfy

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in Hiring,Human Resources

Some of the most coveted jobs for young workers go to grads of elite colleges. Recruiters at a variety of firms across many industries tend to pick the best of the best.

Yet they keep telling us their new hires are lazy. Armed with fine pedigrees, these novices demand high-profile assignments and reject tedious tasks. And they’re sometimes insufferable to manage.

If you’re unhappy with the sense of entitlement and questionable work ethic of your new hires, reassess your recruiting. Expand your universe of applicants to include people with unconventional backgrounds who demon-strate a hunger to work hard and a willingness to pay their dues.

“Instead of focusing on top college grads, we’ve started interviewing people in their 30s and up who’ve been laid off from good jobs,” says a retail manager. “The pay is low. The work can be menial. But within a year, a solid performer can quadruple his or her salary.”

Another way to attract hard-charging winners is to examine how job candidates handle adversity. Seek individuals who have demonstrated resilience and fought off hardship. A high-achieving star (on paper) who expects a smooth ascent into the executive suite may crumble at the first sign of frustration.

Probe to find out how candidates define success. In interviews, ask, “Assuming we hire you, how will you measure whether you’re happy here a year from now?” The answer can speak volumes.

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