Developing your hiring intuition

Do you hire others? Does it never work out that well? Most employers feel the same way. It is hard to hire perfect people. In real life, we would be better off with employees who were more like partners — people who had our back at all times no matter what. If outsourcing companies would get it through their heads that they would get more business by being partners instead of demanding some legal partnership contract — the world of outsourcing would be completely transformed. People only care about themselves, and that is the problem with todays world — and with hiring.

I bet Warren Buffet has a very refined intuition when it comes to hiring. He has hired and fired so many people in his life and seen the results. I bet he can spot a winning horse from a mile away. I am beginning to spot winners and losers too. It has nothing to do with skills either. Motivation, integrity, and intelligence are what I look for. Most people have none of these traits. But, your star employee must have all of them otherwise you are screwed.

But, how do you know who has the winning traits, plus job related skills? Spotting intelligence is easy. Just talk to someone for a few minutes. Throw out some complicated thoughts, or make a few slightly intellectual jokes and listen for the silence. I can tell just by listening to someone’s tone of voice what their IQ is. Normally at an interview, after the first 30 seconds have passed, I know if the person is going to make it or not. I throw out some thought provoking questions to see if I get an intelligent answer or not.

Knowing someone’s level of motivation and integrity are a little harder. When people want a job, they tell you what you want to hear. This is a waste of time, especially if you can’t read between the lines. How much trouble are they willing to go through to work for you is the only thing you should be thinking. After all, after four months have passed when you are in a bind and need them to put in a little extra work, if they have the “why bother” attitude, you are screwed. So, think of that before you hire them. This is why large companies have four interviews — yes four! Someone not motivated or committed probably won’t show up for all four.

But, you can ask them about what happened at their last job. If they seem to have been motivated about how they handled business, that is a good sign. If they showed concern for all of the details of the job, rather than just how they felt, that might be a good sign. It’s certainly not a bad sign.

Figuring out if someone has integrity is much harder. You can think of some trick situations to see if they will cheat. Or, you can ask them about their relationships with their parents, boyfriends, etc. If they have poor relationships with them, they will also have a poor relationship with you for whatever reason — including possibly integrity.

Some people who cheat a lot are always watching others to catch them cheating. This is a form of projecting. On the other hand, karmically speaking, cheaters work with cheaters. You can ask how upset they get if someone lies to them too.

Figuring out how much the other person likes you is also very important. People who like you will do much more for you. How good is your intuition for figuring out who likes you?

There is a lot to think about when hiring someone. I hope you can figure it all out. My solution is to not hire people, because I already know what is going to happen!

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