How to Hire Right

Posted On: September 27

A very good friend of mine had just lost one of his key players. He was looking to hire someone to replace her and add a new salesperson. I sent him this note to give him advice on how to make sure he hired the right person.



Deciding to bring in a new person to the team in your company is a critical decision, especially with such a small team. Done correctly, the new hire could potentially make your company much more successful. Done poorly, hiring the wrong person can be a costly mistake and damage your business long-term. Therefore, I’d like to give you some advice on what I feel are some essential ideas and tools around hiring right.

The first thing I’d like to share is that the quality of the people on your team will be the most critical factor in determining the long-term success of your business. An old cliché says that people are your most important asset, but that’s wrong. Your best people are your most important asset. Your worst people are your most significant liability. So it would be best if you were very careful in how you go about hiring new employees. Whenever I counsel a business owner about the hiring process, here are a few things that I strongly recommend they do:


1. Create an Employee Scorecard.

Create a specific list of the attributes, skills, talents, and attitudes you are looking for in the new hire. Make this list before you interview anyone. It doesn’t matter how much you like the person; if they don’t meet the criteria on the list, do not hire them.

2. Self-train and Learn about Interviewing.

Read some books or get some training on interviewing techniques. Most of the business people I’ve come across are pathetic at doing a thorough job of asking great interviewing questions and knowing what to look for in a candidate. The list you have created in step one will help you form an agenda for asking questions. The key is for the candidate to spend 90% of the time talking during the interview.

3. Team Interviews

I’m also a big fan of team interviewing to get feedback from everyone on how they feel the candidate would fit into the culture. Important: Anyone who interviews them should have some training on how to conduct a professional interview.

4. Skills or Personality Tests

I also think it’s a good idea to get them to take a few tests, possibly a skills test and a personality test, to ensure they will be a good fit for your culture. In addition, call every single reference and ask them a few questions about the candidate so you can get some additional feedback on their personality and skill set.

5. Attitude for Hiring

A few years ago, I attended a conference of 400+ CEOs on hiring, retaining, and growing top talent. After we came together and participated in dozens of workshops, panel discussions, and lots of dialogue, this esteemed group of senior leaders came up with two key ideas on hiring:

  • Hire for attitude and aptitude—train for skills.

If the person has the “must-have” skills and shows the ability to learn, always hire the person with the best attitude.

  • Hire slow—fire fast.

Take your time to get the right person. As soon as you realize you have the wrong person, remove them quickly.


I hope you found this helpful, my friend.

Take good care


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