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This content was provided by my respected colleague Carlos Ramirez. He is a safety executive. servant leader and Marine.  I always appreciate his perspective and this week's topic of puppy love and dog personalities is a welcome guide to hiring.

What Dogs Teach Us About Hiring 

Robert Kiyosaki, the creator of the Rich Dad poor dad series hysterically used Canines to describe sales personalities in one of his books. Following his lead, I use them to describe hiring candidates.

Let’s start with the Poodle show dog. The poodle may or may not be flashy and poodle like but they are smart and highly social and have valuable contacts with other potential candidates or have credibility with supply chains, vendors, and consultants that can significantly decrease a company’s ramp time. To be clear poodles are valuable and necessary, but they come with certain risks. You can’t expect too much actual work from poodles as they are used to a large staff of minions and cushy office spaces filled with adoring fans. If you don’t have minions for them then the poodles’ colleagues and cubicle neighbors will be treated as minions and that may not go over very well. Also, Poodles do not get along with Police Dogs or Bulldogs and anybody that actually likes hard work. Side note if a Poodle convinces a Chihuahua to be their minion loyalties will switch and they will look at you sideways.

Bulldogs are loyal, dedicated workers who get shit done and don’t look for credit. They are not polished or flashy and you can’t leave them alone in a room with senior executives. They don’t have a ton of original ideas, but they often don’t need new ideas because they are so good at squeezing the life out of the tried and true. Bulldogs are the kind of people you give a big pile of crap to and say figure it out I will get back to you in a week. They don’t like to be micro-managed but you can't give too much leash or you will find after-hours Tequila parties in the office.

Police Dog candidates are by the book and super dedicated but not multifunctional. One discipline and not terribly innovative. If you need a one-trick pony who won’t cause HR problems aside from reminding everyone to follow the rules this is your canine. Police dogs can be annoying and can cause team or culture challenges so you have to make sure they are a good fit with the company culture. They love recognition and need frequent affirmation. These candidates are great for compliance roles where they mostly work alone but deliver to a group.

Labrador is your work dog that everybody loves. They are smart and capable and have the following of the poodle but not so much at the executive level. These people get shit done and don’t leave a wake of angry people behind them. They are like Bulldogs when getting shit done but they won’t throw weird parties you have to explain to the Executive later. Seriously Labs get people excited about crappy jobs and projects. These are the people you put in charge of a workday implementation or a corporate audit program. You love these people, and you can never have enough of them. The challenge with them is they end up doing everyone else’s jobs and get taken advantage of frequently. You have to look out for them constantly and make sure nobody is sending them to the lobby to bring Seymour Butts into the conference room.

Chihuahuas are wicked smart but they are so strung out on coffee that they stress you out during the interview. You ask one question, and they finish your question, answer it and answer the next. Essentially, they interview themselves and then ask you when I can start. They are generally very capable, but they can shift loyalties for more interesting opportunities. They don’t climb the corporate ladder as much as constantly look for a greater challenge. If you have the complex tasks to keep this candidate busy and have a multitude of highly intellectual tasks with increasing challenge levels, they may be your candidate. They require a lot of feedback to stay on track and you must be very clear about the deliverable. Conversations can sometimes sound like I need to know what time it is in India not the effect of black holes on the time-space continuum.

My personal favorite is the Lab but it’s hard to separate them from the Boxer! They are loyal and eager to get shit done but you can’t get complicated or technical with them. Labs are so social that if they get a tough job they can quickly build a team to help. Boxers will go it alone and maybe get some sympathy support but they won’t ask for it and their deliverable may be the bare minimum and sometimes sub-par. You can teach and train Boxers if you have the time and they are worth it. They are your best work friends and will keep you from falling in the punch bowl or taking clothes off at work parties. That being said, you never call on them for that time-critical need to wow the world task.

Under no circumstances hire a Husky! They are highly outwardly emotional and extremely loud about everything! They talk loud, move loud, chew loud, and clear a desk with a sneeze. That big presence in your interview room is subdued so don’t be fooled!

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