Much is made over famous entrepreneurs. Steve Jobs was practically immortalized, for example. But an important concept to keep in mind is that entrepreneurs rarely make it to the top alone. Successful companies have a team of successful employees who work together to make the entrepreneur’s ideas materialize. Not only is it crucial to hire the right people to make your ideas happen, but it’s also that much more crucial to avoid hiring the wrong people. According to Forbes writer David K. Williams, the cost of one bad hire is anywhere from $25,000 – $50,000. It takes time, money and energy to interview, train, equip, and obviously pay employees. If they’re not to doing a good job, you’re losing money and your company is suffering at the same time. While many employers simply look to see whether a potential new hire has the skills needed to do the job, it may be worth taking the time to figure out if they have the kind of personality that will help your business succeed.
Write It Out First
Michael Hyatt insists it’s crucial to write down what you’re looking for when it comes to hiring employees. It’s not enough, he says, to write down, “better than average employees” or “good people.” You have to get specific. These are the questions he recommends starting with:
- What kind of employees are we trying to attract?
- What kind of employees will it take to get the results your company wants?
- What kind of people do you want to be around?
- What kind of people will build the culture your company wants to build?
Beyond Skill, Look for Personality Characteristics
Does the potential employee work well with others?
Those grade school report cards gave you a mark for how well you got along with your classmates. Well, there’s something to the grade. Try to measure the potential employee’s ability to work smoothly with others. Ask about previous collaborations and whether or not collaborating suits the employee’s work methods. If the new hire is disdainful of collaboration, he or she may be a bad choice for your company.
Is the potential employee humble and teachable?
Don’t mistake humility for a lack of confidence. The humble employee has confidence and a good sense of his or her skills. He has a good sense of his strengths and weaknesses and is constantly looking to become a better. He asks questions and looks to learn from everyone he encounters. Hyatt takes potential executive hires to dinner as part of his interview process. What the potential employee doesn’t know is that Hyatt is observing the way the interviewee is treating everyone around him. How does he treat the hostess or server? Is he kind, rude or demanding? Does he notice them and pay close attention? Hyatt says he likes to see whether the interviewee is treating him differently from the people from whom he’s not trying to get a job. “I am always leery of people who ‘suck-up’ to people they want something from and disrespect everyone else.” Hyatt doesn’t want someone like that working for him.
Is the Potential Employee Driven?
You can have the most qualified poetical employee sitting across from you, but if they’re not ambitious, your company will suffer. Hyatt describes this ambition as “hungry,” an appetite so big that all he can think about is the food or work he’s working on. The ambitious employee doesn’t get satisfied with previous accomplishments; they just want more. So how do you measure for this in an interview? Ask questions about sacrifices the interviewee has made to achieve.
Consider taking more time to hire new employees. Go beyond the basic skill set match game and take time to see if your new hire’s personality makes him or her the building block for your good ideas.
Stacy Hilliard writes articles for higher education blogs and suggests researching the online masters in finance programs offered by several schools to further your education and career.