Finding the perfect employee for any organization is an important and often painful task.

Employment in human resources has become a much more critical job than it was once thought to be. Human resource professionals have a big task keeping track of rules, regulations, insurance options, safety, personnel training, and a host of other important factors that contribute to making a good employer.

Almost every organization claims to put employees first and most actually do, yet it is easy for an employee to feel that other employers are better. Over time, how employees are treated becomes a strong part of an organization’s culture. Not all people are going to find a particular culture appealing, so when hiring, the human resource professional must attempt to explain to prospective employees what the work culture is like where they would be working.

I was shocked to have an “up and comer” assistant manager resign after the individual learned that overtime was an expected part of a manager’s work week. When agreeing to the position, pay, flexibility and the work in general, everything seemed just great, but 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. was all this person felt a job should require. The management team I worked with asked, “how does this individual ever expect to get ahead in life only working 40 hours?”

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My disappointment with the loss of what I expected to be a key contributor over time was difficult to overcome, but disappointment with a particular individual is far better than learning too late that the individual didn’t fit the role or became a failure.

I observed a young manager who put his faith in a promising employee in his department who let him down tremendously by calling in sick and having personal issues, of which he tried to help with. After the offending employee was discharged for cause, the young manager said, “I’m never going to make that mistake again.”

My reply was “of course you will. You have faith in people and want them to succeed.” This young manager has now grown into a leadership position and has a major impact in the organization he is a part of.

One of the best leaders I ever encountered was ridiculed and discredited by fellow employees on his rise to the top of his organization. The naysayers were quick to try to put down the person in fear of the future under his leadership. Knowing what the jobs actually required, being extremely strong and extraordinarily intelligent, the person rebuffed the attacks and quickly rose to the top. Today, the leader is a key person and with few, if any exceptions, is one of the most respected people involved with the business.

The perfect employee is rare and hard to find, though great employees make the quest worthwhile.