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December 01, 1999
Warrior or a Balancer: What Kind of Worker Are You Looking For?
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professionals are under the gun to bring in all types of new workers into their organizations. But no one group is harder to evaluate, attract, and retain than the IT professionals and Ecommerce types needed for companies intent on cashing in on the electronic revolution.

One idea that's seems to work in hiring these types of folks is to evaluate the candidates on the question of their drive, and how well that attribute meshes with company goals and culture. For example, the company you work for is filled with high energy techies. They are working flat out to create success and wealth on a Silicon Valley timeline - no matter what the cost. You've got warriors.

Enter candidate A, whose skill set is unparalleled - she knows C+++, Perl, and Visual Basic cold, has all the skills for success. But evaluating purely on her skills set could be a costly mistake. You also need to consider her drive levels versus the environment she will be working in. If she is a balancer - wants success at work but also values friends, family, and personal interests? If so, she could be a disaster if her co-workers and bosses expect endless workdays and total concentration on the job. Another obvious trouble sign is that the candidate has a family and lives 60 miles a way, yet the workday is 7am -8pm. The other side of the coin is a work environment that values family and a personal life in addition to work. If you hire a warrior,watch out for trouble as their style collides with the organization's.

Surprisingly, many of the managers in your company do not know how to spot the difference between warriors and balancers, nor consciously think about why it is important. You can help them by getting these managers to ask questions that pinpoint what job candidates really want out of work, and life. What kinds of assignments and intensity levels really turn them on?

Another good idea is to make sure that candidates get a chance to talk with co-workers privately during the interview process. By getting to know the new work environment better they will be able to spot, and avoid, trouble before accepting an offer.

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