What Amy Poehler Can Teach Us About Quality Hiring

by Jennifer Sigler | April 19, 2017 | Workhappy Blog

Amy Poehler’s Yes Please offers great insights into today’s world of recruitment and hiring – even without trying. She’s that good.

This week I’ve been re-reading — or rather, re-listening, because listening to her read her own book is fantastic — Amy Poehler’s Yes Please.

I am known for reading books more than once, especially if they strike a chord with me. There is also something familiar and comforting about knowing what someone is going to say — to knowing a story by heart. It is also peculiar how certain phrases or meanings will jump out at you through multiple readings at different stages in life. There are so many fantastic lines in this book, but this time around a few phrases really stuck with me in how they apply to company morale and teamwork.

And while a quick Google search will get you all you need to know about the proper “steps” in hiring great employees, Amy offers advice that applies more broadly, and provides a great foundation for any hiring process.

Specifically, in regards to the people we surround ourselves with:

“I want to be around people that do things. I don’t want to be around people anymore that judge or talk about what people do. I want to be around people that dream and support and do things.” 

This is what every good employee wants: To be around others who make them feel like the best versions of themselves. But isn’t this also what every employer wants?

Hiring the right employees can be a challenging practice. It is important to hire people with varying skill sets. To be around people who “do things” does not mean “do things the exact same way you do.”

A good employee works hard. A great employee will have drive and initiative — will offer up new ideas or new ways of approaching common practices. They will contribute to the collective.

Additionally, people who work hard are more successful at their trade:

“You have to care about your work but not about the result. You have to care about how good you are and how good you feel, but not about how good people think you are or how good people think you look.”

This type of focus is not only great for work ethic, but is a great sign of character. This is also about being able to make decisions that are not always popular. Maybe making the hard decision is what is necessary to do good work.

Look for people who value being part of a team. These are the employees who will put the good of the collective above the individual.

Amy also tackles the topic of taking chances:

“Because what else are we going to do? Say no? Say no to an opportunity that may be slightly out of our comfort zone? Quiet our voice because we are worried it is not perfect? I believe great people do things before they are ready.” 

Remember last week when I talked about the fears that come with following our dreams? Amy knows. Great employees should have a healthy dose of a fear of failure, and be willing to make decisions when others hesitate.

Ambition is a great quality, and one every employer should look for in a potential employee. A job candidate should be able to articulate why they want the job they are interviewing for — even if, or especially if, they don’t seem to meet every qualification. Of course, applications should be reviewed thoroughly and credentials should be checked, but a well-crafted cover letter should clearly and eloquently state why they would be a perfect fit for the position.

This demonstrates the ability of an individual to calculate and measure risk, and those who are willing to succeed are the ones who are willing to take risks. Complacency has no place in greatness.

Jennifer Sigler is a Senior Writer with The UpWrite Group. Send a message to services@TheUpWriteGroup.com to see how she can help enhance your corporate or personal brand.

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