I want/need to hire someone. Not a difficult task, right? I’ve been doing this for years and it’s a simple process. I mean let’s be honest – I’m not trying to launch the Space Shuttle into outer space – I just need to hire one “normal” employee. And therein lies my problem: “Normal Employee” wanted.
The problem with hiring normal people, is well, they’re hard to find. No one wants to be normal anymore – everyone has to have something special about them: I’m the IT guy who drives a Harley and raises Pygmy bunnies; I’m the Accounting gal who snowboards and always wears Hello Kitty gear; I’m the Marketing Dude who is a little crazy about slow pitch softball and facial hair. The level of personal branding has gotten to a point where it’s next to impossible to find normal people.
So, now I know what the next question on your mind is – that’s why FOT pays me the big bucks – to anticipate what our readership will ask and have all the answers. You’re thinking: But Tim, you’re so normal, how did you find you? Am I right, or what! (or maybe you’re thinking, how did Tim suck me 3 minutes into another blog post going nowhere!) What’s really needed is just one Job Description that we can all use on every position we have – like Addendum A – Normal Employee JD.
If I had an Addendum A for my JD on what a Normal Employee would be, it would probably look like this:
Position: Normal Employee
Status: Full Time – Exempt (must be normal after hours as well)
Reports to: Self (wait you can’t report to yourself, that instantly makes you not normal)
Position Requirements: Common sense with a touch of realism, some positivity thrown in for good measure (meaning when someone asks you “if the you’re a cup is half full or half empty person” – you don’t go on for 15 minutes explaining how you can’t be defined so narrowly – that makes you not normal). Must have been normal for at least 18 months (caution: some will say one year here, but trust me, anyone can act normal for a year – the tipping point is at least 18 months – crazy is bound to come out in 18 months if it’s in there).
Principle Duties: To build and maintain professional relationships with supervisors, peers and co-workers – which means stalking any other employee on Facebook is not normal.
Degree of Accountability: Must follow all policies and procedures, maintain confidentiality, meet and/or exceed department goals set forth for this position. This means if you ever use the phrase “that’s not my job” you’re not normal, also sending an email out to the entire company asking why it is so difficult to keep sticky notes in stock is not normal – I’m just saying.
- Don’t be creepy. If you have to ask what this looks like – you’re not normal – you’re creepy.
- Have good hygiene. This means you have to be honest with yourself and find out if you smell – body, mouth, etc. – then do something about it, in a positive way.
- Don’t talk about your pets or your kids, more than you talk about work, while at work. Enough said.
- It’s alright to have crazy colored hair – but you need to balance it with other very normal behavior. Example: if you have purple hair, don’t wear a skull t-shirt – you just make people nervous; or bring in fresh baked chocolate chip cookies – people don’t expect that from someone with purple hair – and don’t get upset when no one eats your cookies – let’s just say people are still nervous about the hair – but they’ll appreciate the gesture.
- Don’t be happy all the time. First, no one buys it. Second, it makes you look simple minded – everyone has a bad day or frustrating time (it’s what makes us normal) and it’s alright to show that. Third, when showing your frustration/bad day, don’t do it by throwing things at work – that’s not normal.
- Don’t talk about freaky stuff – ever. Hey, great – you and your wife like to swing on the weekends – don’t ever share that at work – if you do, you’re not normal.
- Don’t use baby-talk. That works on your boyfriend and Dad – but not at work.
- Do bust on your supervisor to co-workers at lunch. This is normal behavior – people get frustrated with their bosses and need an outlet. It doesn’t mean you hate them and they should be skinned alive (if you think that, you’re not normal), but just need to blow off some steam to a co-worker – everyone has done it – to a point, it’s healthy behavior.
- Don’t bust on your supervisor in a department meeting. If your supervisor is good, she’ll laugh it off, but no one likes public humiliation – and why you might get some sick gratification from it – it’s not normal.
- Don’t do any behavior that can be deemed crazy. You never want to be tagged “crazy” – it’s like luggage, you’ll never get rid of it. Crazy behavior examples: Making lunch in the employee break room that is over the top – soup, salads and sandwiches are great – trying to make Beef Wellington in the Microwave is crazy. Having pictures and items that show your personality in your cube are nice – having your entire cube decorated in the Winnie The Pooh – Eeyore character is crazy.
What do you look for in Hiring Normal employees?
If you Google “Tim Sackett” you’ll find our Tim, and a truck driver chaplain. Our Tim is NOT the truck driver chaplain, although how awesome would that be if he was!? He is a prolific writer in the HR and TA space who just happens to also run an Engineering and IT contract staffing agency (HRU Technical Resources) out of Michigan. He also writes every day at his own blog, the Tim Sackett Project. Weirdly, he’s known as an expert in workplace hugging, which was kind of cool years ago, but now seems painfully creepy, but we still love him and he’s fairly harmless. Tim is also on the board of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP), lifetime Michigan State Spartan fan, husband to a Hall of Fame wife, 3 sons, and his best friend Scout. He also wrote a book with SHRM called The Talent Fix, you can find it on Amazon.