ringier home icon

GM CEO Mary Barra shares 5 characteristics of exceptional job candidates

The road to transforming transportation begins with hiring the best people and empowering them to succeed.

“If there are obstacles preventing you from doing your best,” I’ve often told our team, “then you’d better be in my office jumping up and down.”

This industry’s future is in the hands of change agents and risk takers — those who can imagine the possible, and then take bold steps to realize it.

Of course like anything, it’s a balance: New hires should recognize why companies do things a certain way, and know the difference between pushing the envelope and ripping it to shreds.

At GM, we compete with other industries for top talent. Given the importance of building the best team, we hired a global talent acquisition director — Bill Huffaker — who joined us from Google, known for its entrepreneurial culture.

He’ll admit that for some people, it takes leaving their own comfort zone to work for a car company. However, Bill assures potential hires that we act a lot like a startup these days, albeit a large, global one. Detroit’s ongoing renaissance and its vibrant downtown also are helping us win new talent. An influx of fresh thinkers will push us to be more; it’s a contagious mindset that will help us win.

Want to join us? Here’s some advice:

1. Be an agile, smart leader

We want a team that’s eager to learn, lead and inspire other people to excel in a variety of domains — because change is constant. The auto industry will be radically different just five short years from now, so we’re looking for people who have built a portfolio of experiences rather than worrying about the next promotion.

2. Be confident, yet humble

If you constantly use the word “I,” you probably won’t make it. Here, we put our collective efforts toward finding new ideas and solutions for our customers.

3. Be true to yourself

Sheryl Sandberg, who has built a high-performing team at Facebook, shared great counsel when we met earlier this year: Understand your biases, and hire people who are not like you. Diversity of thought shapes our culture.

4. Show your thinking and contributions, not just your resume

The most productive and insightful interviews, are often more like conversations. I want to hear stories about your accomplishments and brainstorm issues facing our industry.

5. Have a relentless desire to win

If you are going to suit up, you should play to win! At GM, we are continuously raising the bar across all facets of our business. The reinvention of the Cadillac brand is just one example. The Cadillac team is relentlessly challenging thousands across the organization who touch the brand in any way to aim higher, stretch conventional wisdom and make it an intensely personal endeavor.

This sort of transformation is not for the timid, and the Cadillac team won’t rest until there is a shared sense of urgency in creating a true luxury experience for our customers.

For all the work going on throughout our company, we know success in any area hinges on having the right people. Think about that the next time you fill an opening.

Source: Business Insider

Nathan Jeffery
Notification Bell