The experiences of a visually impaired business owner suggest that other employers have a lot to learn about recruiting honest, reliable staff.
Beernuts Productions founder gough [who goes by a single name] told My Business that a combination of being legally blind, as well as hiring actors and other creative professionals, has helped him develop a keen sense for weeding out “prima donnas” and other undesirable character traits.
He suggested that most people are too caught up in someone's appearance and visual queues to actually listen to what is being said - and how it is said.
“Being blind has actually helped me in a way because I spend a lifetime listening to people. So I pick up on things like tone and inflexion and all that sort of stuff,” he explained.
“I think it also does help me in the casting process with actors because I always make sure when an actor comes in for an audition … I sit them down, I have a two [or] three-minute chat with them to sort of get a feel for the kind of person that they are, then I run them through the script a couple of times, and then they're on their way.
“My auditions usually take about 20 minutes whereas a normal film audition would usually take two or three minutes because they usually just have to do a paragraph, then they're in and out.”
Picking up on positive or negative character traits is much more important for a smaller business, gough said, because of the limited resources.
“Because we don't have a lot of money, I don't have a lot of time to rehearse with them. I don't have a lot of time to waste in regards to if they are going to be prima donnas or whatever. I haven't got time for any of that kind of nonsense because we just don't have the money to waste,” he said.
“So I need to make sure I get a good feel for the person, make sure that yes this is going to be somebody that I can work with and this is somebody who is acting in a professional manner and so I can go forward with this person.”
According to gough, the simplest way of sussing out a person’s true character is to ask them informal questions about themselves.
“I always make sure … I ask them a couple of just general questions. How are you? How's your day been? All that sort of stuff, and if you really listen to someone, you can get a really quick idea on the kind of person that they are,” he said.
Hear more insights from gough on what business leaders can learn from the visually impaired on the My Business Podcast below:
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.