Cat People and Dog People

dog people cat people.jpg

A respected local businessman I know recently gave me some insight on one of his best kept secrets to hiring success.  Aside from just being flat good at his trade, why do I always have a superior customer service experience every time?  How does he do it?  I wanted to know.

Turns out, there really is a lot of truth to training, hiring the right people, and making sure those hired people enjoy working together and working in general.  Unhappy, unmotivated employees are not going to be able to provide meaningful contributions on a long term, consistent basis. 

Yes, yes, of course.  But specifics, please.  

“In the interview, I always ask the applicant if they are a cat person or a dog person.  I tend to hire dog people, unless I need a real task master or ops person.  In those cases, I hire cat people.  They enjoy being left alone, but come out to play when they want to.  They’re also completely self-sufficient.  They don’t really need me and the claws come out when you do something they aren’t keen on.  They keep everybody else in line.  You know, Forbes wrote an article on Cat People vs Dog People several years after I talked to my staff about it.  One of them brought the article in to show me one day.  ‘Look!  You were right!’.  I thought that was pretty neat.”

I have yet to read the Forbes article.  I’m sure it’s easy enough to find out there, but it doesn’t really matter.  It all boils down to the fact that there is a true skill to sourcing and hiring the right person for an organization that goes far beyond simply a job description.  Finding someone who ticks off all the requirements and who presents well is the easy part.  The real art lies in developing the right mix of cat people and dog people to ensure a business grows successfully and sustainably.