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I like to pay attention to what the big guys are up to on LinkedIn's Executive Suite.  Somehow, they let me join.  No, I didn't beg, lie or steal...

I saw that they were talking about why so many companies hire "losers".  GRABBED MY ATTENTION!


To be honest, I saw a lot of MBA, PHD, HR chatter.  I was almost intimidated by the extremely high-level discourse and credentials.  I was absolutely starry-eyed!


And then I saw a post by a guy that had all the credentials and yet cut through the BS as if it were butter.  And I thought about our (my dealership) past hiring experiences and the successes and failures.  And found that character is King. 


This gentleman was a man by the name of Elijah Lim, self described as a "Highly experienced Strategy Establisher and Human Capital Developer" from Singapore. He laid out criteria that resonated.


1. Personality traits are base characteristics. Won't change, and if they do, probably after some earth-shaking occurrence.

2. Personality traits are a description of how we express ourselves. They are how we manifest both preferences and convictions, although they are more the language of preferences.

3. Statistically, different personality traits do better at different jobs.

4. The final determining factor as to how a person would perform is that of character competencies.

5. Relationships are King.

6. Both Golden and Platinum Rules apply and run concurrently.

Golden Rule: Do unto others what you would want others to do unto you.

Platinum Rule: Do unto others what OTHERS want you to do unto them.

7. Good character never goes out of style.

Mr. Lim promises one thing:

I have only one goal. Just as my only goal when I was serving in the Armed Forces was to prepare men for combat, my goal is to partner with you in increasing the value of your organization by continuously growing and reproducing your leadership competencies. I do this by:

1. Holding your hand.

2. Kicking your butt.

Guess what, you'll love me for it!


A final quote from this man, "Hire whom you assess at the current time to be great people, but keep monitoring, developing, guiding, disciplining them. "Disciplining" actually means "making a disciple of" and need not always have negative connotations. It doesn't mean "make clones" but rather developing the person to his fullest in line with universal, non-negotiable principles."

MAKING A DISCIPLE OF... To me means developing a passion for... ones work.


I would add my own observation.  Why does it seem that small innovative companies lead and then get snapped up by larger companies who follow? I personally believe that HR is the best way to filter out and eliminate great talent. A-type hires B? B-type hires A? A little bit of 20th century BS. Passion for what you do is the true key. Who is measuring that and hiring that? I truly liked Elijah Lim's list ending with number 7. Good character never goes out of style.


What do you think?



Written by
 Tom Gorham

Editor, From The Trenches

Automotive Digital Marketing

Professional Community




Tags: HR, character, credentials, description, hiring, interviewing, job, resume, talent

Views: 444

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Replies to This ADM Discussion

one thing i'd like to counter to comment on the A-B,B-A hiring thing, that is really not the case. The real organizational phenomenon is: "A" Players hire "B" Players. "B" Players hire "C" players and so on until the organization becomes a company full of "Z" players.... and when this thing happen, what do you call it? The "BOZO EXPLOSION". company full of clowns and bozo.

heintjie santos  I like it!

Hiring correctly is indeed critical I agree completely, I would like to also add that
how we maintain a great hire after they come to work for us is at least as
important. Far too many times in this industry we hire a great candidate for a
sales position, full of energy and enthusiasm, you know that one in 20 that
DOES his follow up, masters his product knowledge and tends to demonstrate some
natural leadership by always helping his fellow sales people with regard to
‘getting a half of the deal’…. Only to stop his training once he sells a few cars!
 The saying “when your green you grow and when
your ripe you rot” didn’t just happen to be for no reason, often we stop
developing a good salesperson, sometimes because we allow the busy work to get
in the way and perhaps we intend to do some follow up training with our people
but just don’t get to it and there’s always tomorrow. Without the proper,
continued guidance it is easy for a salesperson to get too smart. They can
think that they have it all figured out and actually become their own worst
enemy and start finding all the reasons customers WONT but a car today and stop
showing them the reason they should.

It’s vital to keep feeding our sales people the ‘good stuff’ and support their
appetite for growth. I like to think that I am a pretty good trainer and one of
the reasons is I look to the REALLY good trainers for continued advise,
guidance and even review of the good ole basics. I am always looking for great
sales related email newsletters, articles in sales magazines and clips on
YouTube that I share with my team. I want them to hear/read/see what other
great car people are doing and saying, most of my team love the information I
share and it’s great when they come to me and share their perspective of a
video or idea in article.

In the same way continued development is crucial when an employee is promoted
as well. Many times a great salesperson is promoted to floor manager or F&I
etc and by some work of car business magic they are simply expected to know the
roles and responsibilities along with all the procedures of the new position
simply because they have seen their managers do it! Watching someone do their
job is not the same as being shown how to do it while having the actions and
meanings explained thoroughly. Without training in a new position there will
probably be some knowledge gained but at the cost of a good employee as they
get frustrated and more often than not end up looking for work elsewhere.

Hiring the RIGHT people and fully offering them the path of development to
create a lifelong career rather than a ‘job’ can make the difference between an
average car dealership and one that dominates their market and grows into
bigger and better opportunities, dealerships etc. Just my $0.2 at least…

Michael, thank you for your thoughtful comments.  The saying “when you're green you grow and when you're ripe you rot” applies to managers also.  Too many mangers begin to take the easy way out when hiring.  If they get lucky and find a natural salesperson who excels without any training, they pat themselves on the back even though they hired 20 - 30 greenpeas who didn't make the grade but MIGHT have if they had proper training. 

"Are you hungry?" is the worst question I've ever heard in a job interview.  Why not just say "Are you desperate?  We only hire desperate people because we don't want to pay qualified people what they're worth"?  (My private rant)

For me, the great candidate demonstrates good character, ethical behavior, empathy, and enthusiasm for the job.  Replace "Are you hungry?" with "Do you have the ambition to excel at what you do and take pride in doing so?"

As far as anything in the sales end of the dealership, I have been using Hire The Winners for seven years now and am amazed at what a world of difference it has made... The stores where I used the HTW Car Sales Simulator to screen applicants BEFORE they were allowed to come in for an interview still have the sales people, many of which are now managers that we hired 7, 6, 5, 4 years ago.  As far as I am concerned, there is no better way to know the person you will be interviewing than to have him/her assessed by the Car Sales Simulator from Hire The Winners:

Hire Character,Train Process

Ralph, thank you.  I heard some great things about that program. 

Craig, my point exactly!

Thanks for commenting guys!


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