When hiring staff, it can sometimes be very difficult to choose the perfect candidate. There are many different qualities to examine, all of which have different values and levels of importance. However, there is one quality which is very important, and sometimes overlooked. There are many different words to describe this quality. One would be maturity. Another, which is the word that I will be using for the purposes of this article, is levelheadedness. This attribute, in my opinion, outweighs not only experience and age, but also the applicant’s level of skill in the job he or she is being hired for. Why do I believe this? Read on to find out.
What I mean by “Levelheaded,” and Identifying People who Are
Levelheadedness means intelligence. Not technical no-how, or academic knowledge, but being able to compose thoughts in an intelligent way, contribute usefully to discussions, and to rise above controversy and drama. Levelheadedness goes hand-in-hand with maturity, which should not be confused with age. Just because someone is 35 years old, does not mean that they are mature or levelheaded. The only way to identify someone who has this quality is by reading their posts. Not just their application, although that is also useful, but their posts. If possible, get a chance to know the applicant.
Benefit of Levelheadedness #1: Training
Experience is valuable in a potential staff candidate. However, if someone has plenty of experience, but does not have the right attitude, then that person will be a trouble to deal with. For example, that person could have personality issues, or just be generally difficult to work with. However, if you find a person who demonstrates that they are levelheaded, then even if they do not know how to do the job that they are being hired for, then they can be trained to do that job. Playing staff rolls on a forum does not require a great deal of technical knowledge, except perhaps being a developer. Moderation is a skill, but a skill that can be trained. So is administration, and reviewing, and posting. Almost every skill which can be imagined for a forum staff member is something that can be trained. If you can find someone who is willing to be trained, and has the attitude to conduct himself well after being trained, then that is the right candidate.
Benefits of Levelheadedness #2: No Drama
Drama can cause damage to a forum, particularly when exhibited by staff members who do not know any better, because they are not levelheaded. A levelheaded staff member knows to rise above drama and, whenever possible, not to get buried too deeply into it. Also, a levelheaded staff member is intelligent enough to, in general, not do things which will inadvertently cause drama.
Benefits of Levelheadedness #3: Professionalism
A professional staff member communicates in a way that people can understand, and does not say things which members interpret as unintelligent or misinformed. If a forum hires a staff member who is distinctively not levelheaded, then that staff member may cause embarrassment to the forum and its staff team. Not only can he or she waste the staff team’s time, but also, can make the staff team look worse in the eyes of members, and do things which staff members do not endorse or approve of inadvertently. Professionalism is very important in a staff member. Staff who exhibit levelheadedness will also be professional.
Levelheadedness is the most important quality for any staff member to have. Not because that quality, in itself, is vital, but because it leads to many other benefits, including the ability to be trained to properly fill his or her role. When looking for staff, always ask yourself: is this person levelheaded. If the answer is no, then do not hire that person unless you do not have any other options.