I came to LaSalle with eight plus years of management experience. I was a bank branch manager and a supply chain manager, and in each management role, I was stepping into an existing team. I had to adapt to their culture and learn how to motivate them. I learned a lot about myself and about leading various types of teams, but I never had the chance to shape the team by hiring new employees.
Fast forward to May 2016… I’m the Branch Manager at LaSalle Network in Arlington Heights! Over the course of the past year I have had the opportunity to build my own team for the first time.
I’ve hired 7 new people for our team, and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my career. Our team works hard, and in March we had the best week in our office’s history!
I credit this success to how our team works together. I hire carefully, and I’m very protective of what we’ve built. When hiring, I look for three things: work ethic, personality, and personal & professional goals.
1. Work Ethic
During interviews, I always ask:
- Is this your first job out of college?
- If yes, did you have a job while you were in high school or college?
- If no, why are you looking for a career change?
- How long did they stay in their past jobs?
- What did they choose that job?
I want to know if they worked while they were in school, and I want to know why. I ask these questions because it tells me about their interests, the skills they have obtained, and ultimately it gives me a glimpse into their work ethic.
Being told by your parents to get a job is different than getting a job because you want to make money on your own or you want the experience. I’ve found that asking these questions is a good indicator of whether they’re driven and self-motivated.
What we do is hard work: this is not a 9-to-5 job, it’s so much more than that. But what new employees put into their career is what they will get out of it at LaSalle, and I want to know what drives candidates to put in that effort.
I need to feel like I have a genuine connection with candidates. We have a very close knit team and a special culture in the Arlington Heights office. So I want to get to know candidates the best I can during the hour we have to talk.
During the interview, I look for the following traits:
- Do they seem outgoing?
- Do I think they can speak up among their peers?
- Do they seem polite, yet vocal enough to stand out on the team?
- Do I have to pull information from them or do they open up and share their interests?
- Do they smile? This is a MUST!
Sometimes in interviews I make fun of myself or I’m goofy to see if the candidate will crack a smile – it’s who I am, and if they can’t laugh, I don’t know if they’ll be the right fit for our team. Personality can be a deal breaker!
I need to be sure that the personality of future employees will complement the team I’m building for the future and the one I have in place today. A great culture motivates employees and keeps them engaged, which is something I take very seriously!
LaSalle is a goal-oriented company, and my team is no different. It is important to know what goals a potential new employee has so I can determine if they’ll be good fit for the role and our team.
During interviews, I’m looking to find out:
- What are their goals?
- What kind of roles have they been applying to?
- What do they like about recruiting?
- Where do they see themselves in 1, 3, or 5 years?
- What motivates them?
- What are they looking for in a company?
Knowing about their goals is a key factor in deciding if they will be right for my team. Can I see them in this role long term, and do I think they have potential to progress into a bigger role in the future?
Each person has their own work ethic, personality, and personal goals that make them unique, and that’s a big part of why we work so well together. We are growing, the whole team is learning and developing every day. The Arlington Heights Office and Call Center Services team is a powerhouse!