Jack Welch: ‘The Four Es and a P’ of Hiring

Just as businesses need to understand their customers in order to effectively market to them, candidates also need to know what hiring managers are looking for in order to get noticed and get hired. Jack Welch helps job seekers to get a leg-up on the competition with “The Four Es and a P” of hiring.

the four Es and a P of hiring

(Photo Credit: Victor1558/Flickr)

Job hunting is not a fun endeavor – revamping your resume, writing cover letters, and coping with rejection – but if you begin the journey well prepared, then finding the job of your dreams can be a piece of cake. One of the best ways to prepare for job searching is to identify what employers are looking for in a candidate to successfully fill a given position. Who better to teach us about what employers are looking for than Jack Welch, a businessman who was responsible for General Electric’s 4000 percent (yes, four thousand percent) increase in value during his 20 years of serving as CEO and chairman.

In his LinkedIn’s “How I Hire” series, Welch explains that “hiring isn’t a black box of gut and luck,” it’s more of an art form that improves with time. Welch indicates that there are “two flat-out must-haves,” “five qualities that are definitely-should-haves” (the Four Es and a P), and “one very special quality that is […] a game-changer” when it comes to hiring quality, loyal candidates – and this formula seems to have proven successful for this expert business mogul. Take a look below to see if you have what it takes to make it in Welch’s world.

The Must-Haves: 

  1. High integrity
  2. High IQ

Welch explains that integrity and IQ are “essential to any winning organization and neither can be trained into a person.” In other words, if you’re coming to terms with being dumb as a doorknob, then hopefully you nailed it on the “definitely-should-haves” and the “game-changer” qualities below. Life’s not fair, we know – it doesn’t mean you can’t still make it. 

The Four Es and a P:

  1. Energy
  2. Energize
  3. Edge
  4. Execution
  5. Passion

(Read more about the Four Es and a P, here.)

The Game-Changer:

Generosity gene: “It’s an in-the-bones, personality-deep craving – to help other people improve, grow, thrive, and succeed,” according to Welch. The generosity gene is something people either do or don’t possess, and it stems from genuine altruism. This “gene” separates the men from the boys (or the women from the girls) and is what really makes for a quality candidate and employee. When people within an organization only care about their own successes, then the company suffers. This type of mentality breeds selfish, narcissists that turn healthy competition amongst colleagues into full-blown wars to climb the corporate ladder.

It’s easy to lose this quality (or “gene”) early on in one’s career path because the corporate world can, often times, be a dog-eat-dog world that hardens the best of us. However, candidates will see that their authenticity and diligence will get them further in their careers than selfishness or greed ever will. Read more about the “generosity gene” and the other desirable characteristics of an all-star candidate in the full article on LinkedIn, here.
Now, don’t get discouraged if you don’t possess all or most of these qualities, because a lot of people don’t. What’s important to consider is whether or not your candidacy can be upgraded by enhancing the positive qualities that you do posses, while improving on the qualities listed above that you are lacking. If you look at the “Four Es and a P” and the “Game-Changer” qualities outside of a professional context, they add up to a pretty stellar individual, right? Therefore, being a great candidate starts with being a decent human being who has great morals, ethics, and tendencies.
We all have things that we could work on as individuals, so don’t be ashamed of needing to refine or omit certain traits that are holding you back professionally. After all, doesn’t the advancement of one’s career entail an aspect of transformation in order to achieve upward mobility?

Tell Us What You Think

How many of the qualities listed above do you possess? Which ones are you lacking? Share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments section below.