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Hiring strategies

George Jones: Versus other companies that I have been associated with previously, Borders has a very desirable situation in terms of being able to recruit really intelligent, great people in our stores. A lot of people want to work in a bookstore. They love books or they love music or they- and they just love being part of it and being able to share their knowledge with their customers, etc., so it’s really amazing how many people in our stores you’ll find that are college graduates, even have graduate degrees, and are so knowledgeable, so well read. That’s very important. The company used to put tremendous emphasis just on the fact of how literate you were so to speak. There used to be a test that tested your knowledge on authors and books, etc., too. I’ve looked at copies of this from years before and it was very challenging. I think having people that are very intelligent in there and people who love books or music or whatever is certainly a key factor. However, you could sometimes hire people just solely based on the fact that they were very knowledgeable about books but they may not particularly enjoy sharing that knowledge with people. They may not have the real people skills, may not be personable, and the company has really changed from that over the years to certainly value the knowledge and experience but really put a heavy emphasis on people that like people and enjoy interacting with people because that is what really comes across to the customer and is just so important.

 

Recorded on: 6/18/08

Find people who are passionate about what you are selling, says George Jones.

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