Two years ago I was in Perth, Australia for a conference. While there, I decided to get my scuba certification. I mean how cool is it to get certified on a business trip in Australia! Before I left I researched a number of dive companies and finally picked IndiDive. As far as I’m concerned, Pete runs the best most user first dive company in Perth. If you are ever visiting Perth be sure to go on a dive with Pete and tell him I say hi!
While on my open ocean portion of my course I was privileged enough to meet a lovely gentleman named Jon. He was already certified, he was just coming along on a recreational dive. With Jon you can’t help but immediately like him. He has a smile that puts you at ease and is one of those people who immediately strikes up a conversation with you. This was great for me as I was really nervous to go on my first ‘real’ dive. He put me at ease and was excited to be joining me on my first open water experience.
During the whole dive Jon stayed near me so he could capture my experience on camera. He didn’t work for IndiDive, and I hadn’t asked him to take pictures and video for me, he just did that out of the kindness of his heart. And now I have those great memories I can show my kids thanks to Jon!
After the dive we all went for celebratory drinks where we shared stories and had some good laughs. Both Pete and Jon made my experience that much better because they obviously cared and have big hearts. I know you know what I mean – sometimes you just meet people who are so real and kind and you bond with them.
I learned that Jon joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1984 when he was 17 years old. He worked in the airline industry for over 30 years before quitting his job to pursue his dream. When I met Jon, he was looking to quit his secure job and move up north to Coral Bay to become a scuba dive instructor. It was so neat to listen to his passion and to see someone who has been very comfortable in the same role for 30 plus years being ready to leave it all to pursue the thing that truly filled his soul.
Jon and I became facebook friends and have kept in touch over the past two years since I left Perth. I’ve seen him fulfill his dream. In Jan. 2015 he left his job, sold his possessions and drove the 12 hours to Coral Bay to start his dream job. I remember seeing him announce that on facebook and seeing a virtual roar of cheers resonate online. Go Jon! You are someone people can look up to.
So how does this post relate to the title? Well, Jon has since moved to Cairns, his hometown, to continue his career in the scuba world. He joined a company called Sunlover Reef Cruises as a dive instructor. And I can tell you with 100% confidence that I would recommend anyone who visits Cairns to do on a dive or snorkel trip with that company. I am confident that they will have an amazing experience if they are with Jon. When they interviewed him they clearly saw what I did and obviously wanted his great energy as part of their team. Hiring Jon made a loyal fan out of me because I know they hire the best!
I had the pleasure of visiting Cairns years ago – pre-marriage and kids. I loved it! I loved snorkelling the Great Barrie Reef and taking day trips up to Port Douglas. It is such a beautiful area of the country. I want to bring my family back there to visit. In fact, my daughter’s dream is to get certified in Australia, like her mom, so I guess I’ll just have to bring her there to get her certification! So Jon, we will be seeing you sometime in the next few years!
The point of this post is that when you are hiring people, trust your gut. Pick people like Jon. If you immediately like someone and trust them, odds are your customers will react the same way. If you hire people who truly care about what they’re doing and can express this in a sincere way to your customers, you have a gold mine. Hire people YOU want to be around for their positive attitudes. Worry less about experience and more about what your employees are putting out there.
I’m sitting here raving about dive companies in Australia! I’ve done little research on Australian dive companies, I simply made lasting connections with Pete and Jon.
When you meet a person that strikes you as exceptionally welcoming, honest, intuitive or has that “je ne sais quoi” about them – HIRE THEM. Your customers will thank you – and, better yet, they’ll come back with their friends.