What I look for in an employee

What should you look for in an ecommerce employee? In this post, I will explain my hiring process.

To start, I record job responsibilities. I then record skill requirements in two columns: what could be educated and what can not. I focus on the”can not be taught” parts, which are generally just 3 things:

  • Intelligence.
  • Commonsense.
  • Ambition.

An applicant that can not fulfill these three things is a non-starter.

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Intelligence. I’m not looking for a genius, just somebody who can know the organization and can learn what must be done without having to repeat the directions several times. I really don’t need in depth experience or particular experience provided that the man or woman is smart. She or he can learn.

Commonsense. This condition is crucial. Without commonsense, a worker demands micro-management. I can not expect this worker to make the proper decision when an unusual development happens, or should I step out temporarily.

Employees with commonsense are typically self-motivating. When one task is finished, they do not sit around, waiting to be told what to do next. If something unexpected happens, somebody who has commonsense will usually sort it out. It may not be exactly what I would have done, but it’ll be sensible.

I have employed people with no commonsense. It does not work out.

Ambition. A more precise description is a lack of eyesight. Most small companies have very little room for advancement or promotion. A worker with outsized ambition will stay a few years, learn the business, and move on to a bigger company.

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Employees with no such dream could be hugely valuable. They are happy working for my organization. They don’t find unusual advancement. They have to get involved with the business and remain on for several years. If I expand, open another store, or make a new market, a intelligent and commonsense employee can step up and assume more responsibility. The trick is to explain the realities from the start, through the hiring process.

One of my best employees was a lad named John. He had no ambition but a good deal of commonsense. He was also very wise. He ended up (I) running all of my email orders, (ii) maintaining the website, and (iii) composing humorous but accurate product descriptions. Moreover, he became a master in product photography and was excellent in customer care. He remained with the company for ten decades. We parted ways when outside circumstances forced me to relocate to another city, which he did not need to do.

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