This Motto Helps Buffalo Wild Wings' CEO Find The Best Employees

Sally smith buffalo wild wingsFood ChannelBuffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith.

When hiring to fill an open position, it can be difficult to quickly find someone who is not only qualified for the job, but also the perfect fit for it.

In order to prevent her company from lunging for the first person who matches the job description, Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith tells The New York Times that she lives by the motto, “Wait for great.” 

“When you have an open position, don’t settle for someone who doesn’t quite have the cultural match or skill set you want,” says Smith, who has grown the sports bar chain from 30 restaurants to more than 1,000 since taking over as CEO in 1996.

Smith tells The Times’ Adam Bryant that what she is looking for is someone who is not only competent, but passionate and curious, as well.

To gauge passion, she likes to ask job candidates what they enjoy doing in their free time. To determine whether they are curious, she will ask about the last book they have read.

In addition, she advises college students to develop this curiosity early by taking on jobs outside their comfort zones and being willing to accept a lateral move if it means broadening their horizons.

“If they’re passionate about something, I know they’re going to bring that passion to the workplace,” Smith tells The Times. “I look for curiosity too, because if you’re curious and thinking about how things work, you’ll fit well in our culture.”

Click here to read the rest of the New York Times interview.

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