How Much Are You Willing to Polish?

While sitting under the tutelage of Dr. Darryl Eldridge he stated the following about hiring personnel that has always stuck with me…

The training formula for hiring is the following:  A – B = C

(A) The skills needed for the position.

(B) The skills the person actually has.

(C) The training you will have to conduct.

When applying this formula the leader has to determine how much time on their end is worth putting into the “polishing action” of the individual.

Eldridge than stated:

“You can’t polish a piece of coal into a diamond.  You can polish only a diamond.  So, you shouldn’t hire the “good guy” who is a piece of coal.  You won’t be able to change the person’s makeup.”

He went on to say:

“You can teach a person the little things, but you can’t go back 20 years and give them the learning they need.  You simply have to ask, ‘What am I getting into by hiring this person?'”

Some go even so far that they think they can change the personality of a person to fit the organizational culture.  But Eldridge says that it has been proven that only three things can change an adult’s personality:  1) religious conversion, 2) deep psychotherapy, 3) brain surgery.


~ by Dave Smith on May 19, 2009.

3 Responses to “How Much Are You Willing to Polish?”

  1. In my experience, churches aren’t willing to do much polishing in the hiring process. But, that might be just my experience of applying for over 30 positions and only getting one interview… I’m happy to be wring.

  2. Yea, I wonder if that is due to a polishing issue, or just for the fact churches don’t really do a good job at HR principles related to interviewing and hiring?

    Ben, you are amazing gifted and would do wonders for a church…so definitely their loss.

  3. Dave,
    I’m always amazed at the things people remember from my teaching. You honored me. Thanks.

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