For United Shore CEO Mat Ishbia, it’s not about what you know.
Ishbia says that specific skills, such as salesmanship, graphic design, or programming, can be taught. Those don’t guarantee whether or not a candidate will succeed at the Troy, Michigan-based financial services business.
“I don’t care about your résumé,” Ishbia says. “I don’t care about what school you went to. I don’t care about what you did at your last company.”
So, what does matter to Ishbia? Two things: work ethic and attitude.
“It doesn’t matter if you went to Harvard or you went to a community college or you didn’t go to college,” he told Business Insider. “What I care about is your work ethic and attitude. That’s what’s going to dictate your success at our company and your success in life, in our opinion.”
Ishbia says that his company has a rather unusual way of vetting attitude and work ethic.
United Shore has its own on-site, mortgage-themed escape room (a game that requires participants to gather hidden clues and solve puzzles and brainteasers in order to “escape” a locked room). Prospective employees interviewing for some positions — he doesn’t like to say which — must “escape” the room before they receive a job offer.
This particular escape room’s not all fun and games, according to Ishbia. Hidden among eight or so candidates is a “mole” — a United Shore recruiter.
He says that a person’s work style and personality will usually shine through as they work piecing together the puzzles and clues. The whole exercise is meant to give recruiters a sense of what candidates will truly fit in with the company’s culture, which prizes drive and teamwork.
“Some people take the bull by the horns and actually do things, some collaborate well and work well together, and others kind of just do their own thing and aren’t team players,” Ishbia says.”That recruiter is really able to measure leadership.”
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