4 Principles To Hiring Right

You need to find your next superstar. Your goal is to find the best receptionist, clerk, engineer or sales person and there are so many suggestions and ideas from so many different people. Here are 4 top business and sports leaders comments on hiring right.

90% of your work is done when you hire the right person, and 90% of your work is in front of you when you hire the wrong person! ~ Jack Welch

As leaders we all think we can easily spot talent. Underneath that statement, is the certainty that what defines that talent is someone who has our personality. In effect, we are searching for ourselves. I was successful at finding talent because I know me – so I just want to find another me, and voila! I’ve got my next superstar.

That thinking is critically flawed, as we are all like fingerprints, each of us unique in how we think, act, grow and share – so very different. We want to find skills and values that benefit the team, and even counter-balance our own shortcomings. DDi research shows only 11% of employee success can be found in the resume or in absolute measureable skills, in effect the math and English requirements to perform a job. The other 89% of our success is found in the motivational and organizational fit.

The answer seems to be to involve other interviewers and listen intensely; do a job-preceptorship as part of the hiring process, and have a fair quality process to assist your candidate in finding the right job so they can succeed in your organization.

You cannot coach your way out of bad behaviors you hired! ~ Stephen Covey

If you have ever been married, you know how desperate this thinking is; “I’ll marry them, and then I can change them!” This never leads to a positive outcome. Hiring in haste is like speed dating to marry! The one thing worse than hiring the wrong person, is not letting them go when they don’t work out. We compound one mistake with a second mistake and that costs us so much more credibility with our customers and teammates and compounds personal aggravation. The employees we hire that are not suited to their new job are more aware and unhappy than they tell us.

The answer is to open up the dialogue, and help the employee make quick adjustments, find the small wins that signal to the employee and team this was the right hire, and find success early. Many interviewers fashion themselves as great coaches. Mining great talent using a great process outranks great coaching every time!

Be quick – don’t rush! ~ John Wooden

“Man, I gotta get my team hired and on-board now! Sales are slipping; customers are upset; deadlines are being missed. And anybody looks better than nobody!” This sentiment can push us to make a poor choice. Sadly, we feel the pressure from all sides and it causes us to rush the hiring process, simply because the candidate just feels right and looks right for my job opening. Nobody is going to remember how many days it took you to hire your talent, but they will surely remember who you hired so you should take the time to get it right.

Let the process play out and get all the necessary input, references, credentials and motivations clearly understood from the start. This is as important for the candidate as it is for the hiring manager. We should do our recruiting daily as we incorporate others we respect in our organization to send us names regularly; expressing the skill-set and requirements for future candidates helps people refer candidates who will fit the culture of our organization. Don’t wait for rain to build an ark plan.

The answer is to set expectations calmly and clearly so that there is no possible misunderstanding. I know managers at the last interview who “sell” their job candidates on all the great benefits for why they should join our company. Rather, we should paint a bleak picture and try to talk them out of the job. If I can talk them out of wanting the job then they were never truly invested in it! I want employees who are invested in our company.

I hire 3 things – integrity, intellect and passion, and the last two don’t matter without the first one! ~ Warren Buffett

Every interview candidate asks at some point in the interview process, “what are you looking for?” This is a valid question and a hint for them to “sell” us on what we want! I tell candidates the goal in this artificial interview process (because doing well in an interview, is not doing well in the job) is to find “honesty.” My definition of honesty is my being honest about the expectation of work and reward in this job along with the candidate being totally honest in their desires, values and motivation. Integrity is walking the walk and talking the talk; integrity is being consistent in our words and our actions.

The answer to hiring successful candidates is that the more we can come to agreement on expectations, of my role and their activities, the better chance we both have to win. The success formula is less about resumes and shiny shoes and more about the truth behind why we take the actions we take, as candidate and hiring manager, and growing from that knowledge.

Good Hiring!


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