How many times recently have you walked into a store where the clerk was talking on his/her cell phone, perhaps even throughout your entire transaction? Or where two employees were talking to each other and ignoring you or other customers?  You know why they are doing that? Simple, they don’t give a shit.  That’s right- they just don’t care.

And you can’t teach care.

You can teach and learn skills.  You can teach and learn an industry. You can’t teach someone to care.

I have seen minimum wage employees who put finesse and attention to detail into minute tasks.  I have also seen highly compensated individuals acting entitled and being sloppy.

If you are going to hire someone, the number one attribute to look for is care.  Will he care about customers? Will she care about doing a task well because she has a commitment to excellence? Will he have pride in putting his name on his work?  That is an innate value set that can’t be taught, at least not easily.

How do you screen for that?  It’s not as complicated as you think.  If you have a candidate for a job, ask them about what is important to them and to walk you through their methodology for doing a task.  If you can observe them on a trial run, that’s even better.  Caring shows through pretty easily.

Even if you have someone who is naturally talented, they won’t be a good employee unless they care about what they are doing, above and beyond caring about the paycheck. They must place real value on doing good work for the sake of the work.

Intangibles may not come across on a resume, but they make all of the difference in the workplace.