kite in a stormIt’s that time of year again. Fireworks have exploded in the sky and friends have gathered together to barbecue under red, white, and blue flags. Our nation’s birthday is a time when we all remember the humble origins of our country and the dramatic story of its founding. It’s also a good time to look at the figures who helped America become the country it is today.

These founding fathers have some valuable advice for how to find and hire the best people. Since founding fathers know best, let’s look at some of the hiring wisdom we can glean from our nation’s architects.

Tip from George Washington: Watch Out for Liars
Our first president George Washington was a bit of a stickler for the truth. After he infamously chopped down a cherry tree, he immediately owned up to the deed. This is because he realized there was no value worth achieving through deception. The same is true of the job market. Job seekers who fib or outright lie on their resumes will not make trustworthy employees. This is why you should also check references. It might seem easier to skip this step, especially when confronted with a great candidate you fear might be scooped up by a competitor. But take the time and do your homework, and you’ll end up with honest employees like our founding president.

Tip from James Madison: Involve Your Team
James Madison is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” and he was also a main proponent for the three branches of government. Madison felt there should be checks and balances, with each branch of government keeping the other from having too much unrestrained power. This theory isn’t just a good idea in government, it’s also a good idea for hiring. Getting the whole team involved is a great way to avoid bias, solicit differing opinions, and find a candidate who will work well with everyone. Whether it’s having the team review a previously recorded video interview or bringing a candidate in to meet all the key players before hiring, make sure to involve your team. It’s what Madison would do.

Tip from Thomas Jefferson: A Strong Objective Goes a Long Way
Founding father Thomas Jefferson knew to play to his strengths. Jefferson was a strong, persuasive writer who had penned many political pamphlets. When it was time to make a strong statement, everyone turned to Jefferson to put his skills to good use. The result was the Declaration of Independence, a document still well regarded today for it’s strong, clear objectives. When hiring, look for candidates with strong objectives and skills which will apply to the workplace. Instead of seeking a jack of all trades, look for someone who has specific skill sets well developed for the position. Candidates who lay out their skills clearly and with confidence will be more confident workers and bring great value to your company.

Tip from Benjamin Franklin: Save Those Pennies
Benjamin Franklin did it all, from politics to publishing. Among his many talents was a particular skill in coming up with pithy sayings. One of his best was “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Sure, pennies were worth a lot more back then, but the message is still clear. Saving money is an important skill, and a vital one for most businesses. This is why you should always look at ways to cut down the costs of the traditional recruiting process. Technology can hold the answer here, presenting everything from online video interviewing to applicant tracking systems in order to cut down on time and money. These cost-cutting technologies allow you to get the best candidates at the lowest prices. As an avid inventor and money-saver, you know Benjamin Franklin would approve.

Have more hiring advice from our wise founding fathers? Share in the comments!

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