Category Archives: Hiring & Firing

Do you hire based on current needs or future needs?

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When you hire someone, you don’t know exactly what they can do for you (other than what they promise) or how long they’ll stay with you.

I wanted to hire people to help me write tweets. I realized that it is hard to write interesting tweets and that someone who doesn’t have a writing background won’t be able to do a good enough job. But, they could learn. Then, I thought that even if someone learned on their own time, by the time they learned, my Twitter account would be much bigger and my standards would be much higher.

Then it dawned on me that I need to think about the future in a new way. I need to behave as if the future is already here. I need to think that my Twitter account already has a million engaging followers and that my tweet writer needs to be the best in the business. With this attitude, my whole hiring strategy is completely different. Someone who is merely “good enough” now is not going to cut it. They need to have amazing talent. Even writers don’t produce perfect results on Twitter because they are daunted by the 140 character limit and tags. But, you can easily spot talent early on, and if someone has the talent, they might be your ideal future employee.

Then I thought about my sales needs. My sales needs have changed in the last seven years, but my salesperson has not. I’m trying to put hard pressure on her to adapt to my “new” needs. She is complaining every step of the way. I’m realizing that I need a salesperson who is versatile and can do inbound as well as outbound sales, not to mention be able to do other tasks. So, now I’m trying to hire multi-taskers and believe me that isn’t easy.

It’s hard to picture your future needs. You’ll probably be wrong if you try. But, by trying to predict what you’ll need, you’ll be closer to target than if you don’t. So, try to be in tune, and envision your future. You should do this anyway as the mind is your most powerful asset for your future success!

Do you tell the applicant what they can get from the job?

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Job interviews can be very useless if you don’t do them right. The interviewer asks some questions and the applicant tells the interviewer what he thinks the interviewer wants to hear. It is all so worthless. But, you can ask personality and thinking questions where there is no right answer. I find that interviews do not tell me which candidate will do well in the end, although it tells me who I like and who communicates well.

But, most bosses fail to understand the art of attracting good workers. Large companies succeed where many small companies fail because people might feel that they have a good future at a large company. Many feel that at a tiny company, there is nowhere to grow. This is not always true, but it is about the impression you make and not about reality.

A smart boss lets the prospective worker know what they can expect to get from the job, and what they can learn from it too. This way the applicant feels that they will develop their career at the job and that it will lead somewhere. Most applicants want to go in a direction, and if they can’t see that direction clearly, they might take a job from somewhere else which pays a lot less.

Another factor not to ignore is asking the prospective employee where they want to go with their career. If your offering somewhat matches where they want to go, you might have a match. The important thing is that a job is not just about the money. It is about the experience, who you will meet, what the office looks like, and what can be learned. If your interview doesn’t focus on all of that juicy stuff, you are missing the point.

“You’re fired” is NOT when you start looking for a replacement!

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You have to work with all types
It is hard working with all types of different people. Some are easier than others to work with, but if you want to get the job done, you have to work with all types. The mistake that I always made was that I started looking for replacements after I fired someone. That is as idiotic as putting your seat belt on after the accident. After a while, I wised up and started to look for replacements after I saw severe warning signs. The problem was that I couldn’t fire someone until the replacement was ready.

Tried & true replacements
As time passed, I learned that a replacement is no good unless they have been tried and tested for a few months. So, the more I learn, the more complicated the equation gets. Big companies have the advantage of having a huge and well qualified HR department that has a huge inventory of screened workers for all departments at all times. Unfortunately, my tiny company doesn’t have that luxury. I am the HR department, bookkeeper, marketing CMO, and cat sitter — all in one!

The first red flag is your cue
After a while, I decided that I should start comparing replacements when there is a small red flag in the behavior of whomever is doing the task at hand. Basically, if a worker has a bad attitude, according to a seasoned manager friend of mine — it’s all downhill from there and time to fire them.

Workers quit on a whim
Finally, I’m realizing that workers can quit on a whim without notice. Additionally, if a worker who starts out nice, starts exhibiting signs of a bad attitude, you need to replace them right away. There is no time to be testing out new companies and new workers if the old ones don’t function. The time to start looking for replacements is before you have any trouble with whomever you are working with.

Exceptions to the rule
If it is just too expensive or just not worth it to look for a backup for someone who has been with you for seven or more years, you might consider otherwise. I had a programmer for six years who just quit. I couldn’t find anyone I liked as much as him to this day. I had a sales person for eleven years. She shows no signs of wanting to quit. But, the others I have hired last between six months and two years. I would say that 80% of the people I have worked with have been in my opinion, short term. You need to have multiple backups for every type of job description that you have, and those backups all need to be tested. If your company has sales, data entry, and customer service positions, you need all three positions backed up by multiple freelancers or outsourcing companies that you have tried out. After all, if someone quits or gets fired, your first choice of a back up might be busy, or have quit them self. There are too many uncertainties, so start backing your labor force up today!

Should your company have a pre-hiring training program?

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You can’t really hire someone based on an interview. Some people are good talkers, but bad workers or vice versa. Talk is cheap, and I really don’t want to hear how well someone talks unless they are going to do call center work. You can test prospective employees out on various projects — that is a good idea. But, what about a training program?

Most people are below standard in what you want to hire them to do. Selecting the best of a pool of below standard people might not be an ideal solution for your company’s hiring needs. It might make sense to put them through some training, and then evaluate them.

Additionally, having a training program allows you to see if people stick with you when you are being demanding on them. It also lets you see if they are capable of taking instruction or learning. Third, you can see if they have a bad attitude before you hire them. Ability is only one metric in hiring people, these other metrics are equally important.

Large companies often spend tremendous amounts of money on analysts to assess the value of their employees. You need to know how good someone is, so you know exactly how much salary to offer them. You can’t really tell that if you just hire them on some basic preliminary tests. Knowing how they learn and if they stick around gives you more data to assess their value to your company.

Perks to hiring part time workers

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It is a well known fact that part time workers are the first to quit, and are often less qualified. You are thinking negatively! Let’s think of what is good about hiring part timers!

(1) It is easier to find really interesting part timers
If someone spends their entire life at a horrible grunt job, they are likely to be a very disgruntled grunt, or a very boring person. However, there are many aspiring artists, musicians, and people seeing bigger things in life who will not work for you full-time, but might do a part time job for you. If it fits their schedule, they might even stick around for the long haul. If you like interesting people, or just like the personality attributes of an individual, you could hire them part time! But, give them a schedule that works for them if you want to see them stick around. Part timers often quit, because they need more money. Those who already have another gig will quit, if your job gets in the way of the “more money” that they are already making. Think about them first before your own needs.

(2) You can try people out without a commitment
Most of the people I hire don’t work out. They are not thinking about what I need. They are not thinking about what is good for them in the long term either. There is no commitment. How can I commit to 40 hours a week, if I have no idea if the other person’s skills are up to par, or if they are committed? For me, I prefer to hire people part time. I want to see how they do. If they do well, I can gradually give them more and more tasks and see if they can handle it.

(3) You can try several people out at once
If you get a full time person, if you fire them, then you are left high and dry. With part timers, you can hire several. If they don’t work out, then replace them. You could hire five part timers for one full-time job. Then fire the ones that don’t quit and keep the two best ones. If another drops out, you either higher more part timers or promote the remaining one (if they are good) to be full-time!

(4) Burnout is less frequent with part time work
We live in a world where so many people are burned out. If your job is grueling or hard, doing it full-time can do a lot of wear and tear on the person’s psychological state. It is often better to do several hours a day of grunt work, and then spend the rest of the day doing something else like being a yoga instructor, massage therapist, or singing!

If you hire part-timers, you might be able to get some really interesting people. If you treat them right, they might stick around. Additionally, they will not burn out so much, since they balance your drudgery with something else that they find is meaningful.Part-timing might not be right for everyone, but for some types of jobs, companies, or temperaments, it could be perfect.

(1) If you hire part-time workers, you might get artists, musicians, and other very cool types!
(2) People burnout doing full-time drudgery, but they might last longer as part-timers!
(3) If you hire part time workers, you can hire a handful and then keep the ones that work out!

You might also like:

Good sign bad sign: what to look for in newly hired workers

Don’t hire an employee, hire 5 and keep the best one

Judge a book by its cover; Judge a company by its office

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My new interest in life is something completely different from my previous interests. I used to like languages, animals, nature, trees, and hiking. Now, I want to be an expert at judging a company by its “cover.” I learned that a quick visit to someone’s office can tell you a lot about the quality of their work.

What I learned is that a good service provider is generally a good communicator. When you drop into someone’s office, the first thing you should do is make small talk. Yes, you can do this over the phone too, but you see the person’s demeanor and mannerisms much better up front. If a person communicates using good English, and thorough explanations, they could be considered to be a sophisticated person. My best service providers all fall into the category of sophisticated.

One of the problems I have faced in judging people based on their communication faculties are that the people I interact with are not native speakers. I deal with people around the world on a daily basis. Americans speak English well. If they make a small grammatical error, or don’t communicate ideas clearly, that is a very clear clue that they are not too sharp. With foreigners it is much harder to tell. Their English is never that great, so you can’t judge them based on grammar. If you find that you can communicate with them and that they are making an effort to communicate clearly, that is very important. Many people live in the USA for years and feel that learning English and interacting with Americans is something to avoid — avoid those types!

The next thing you can see is how much thought someone put into their decor. If you walk into a place that is bare bones with no artwork and no plants, the quality of the service might be pretty bare bones as well. Even my chiropractor understands that bare bones need to be covered with at least something — maybe a ligament or muscle tissue. Then, there are other folks whose office looks like they put some work into it. Some people have magazines in the waiting room.

I know this blog is supposed to be about outsourcing, but the examples I am going to use here are about medical offices. Just pretend the my chiropractor’s place is really a BPO or KPO outfit.

I went to a spa that had a waiting room with zen pillows, a large plant with leaves draping down, and a very nice Asian looking desk. It was very comfy, but also made me feel relaxed. The treatment rooms had expensive carpet, sliding Japanese paper & wood doors, a towel with three carefully placed massage stones, and more! The rooms were just the right size too. Most clinics try to have as small rooms as possible so they can squeeze in as many patients as possible. This place did it right! The minute I walked in the door, their attention to detail was impressed upon me, and I knew my spa treatment would be high quality. I was right. I judged a spa by its cover, and uncovered a winner.

I went to another spa that had a huge sign saying “Grand Opening.” I later learned they had been there for over a year. Maybe it is time to lose the sign? Their waiting room had a plant and some cheap looking chairs. It was small and uncomfortable. The people working there were uptight and not smooth in any way although very nice once they got to know me. The spa treatment seemed liked the person had never been trained. It was the worst I have ever had and the least expensive. It was so bad, that they should be paying me for my time spent instead of the other way around. In any case, if I had been smarter, I would have known that the treatment would be as horrible as their waiting room.

But, my rule is not fool-proof. My chiropractor has a very plain waiting room. It is the right size and the chairs and okay. Nothing fancy, but comfy. He has magazines and a nice staff of ladies. Nothing fancy, but they do a good job. He is the best chiropractor I have ever used and I drive over an hour to visit him every two months. If an office is average, the service could be good or bad. Average offices are not an indication of quality. But, really good ones or really bad ones are a very clear indication!

Good Sign Bad Sign Part 2: What to look for in newly hired workers

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I wrote a very practical and interesting blog about what signs to look for in newly hired workers. the link to that older article is at the bottom of this page. The list was fairly complete and easy to understand. But, there are other signs to look for too. The good signs can be summarized as being friendly and willing while bad signs include complaining and refusing! You can read the previous blog to see the entire line-up. But, there are more signs to look for.

Good Signs

Fast Learners! – A Very Good Sign!
New hires that learn quickly might be good in the long run. They cost you less labor to train, and will be likely to learn new things as time goes on. The ultimate goal of hiring someone new is that they might one day be able to do more tasks for you, and eventually be a manager. Someone who can never get simple things right will be a management drain, and also will never be able to be self-managing, or manage others! Seeing who is a fast learner is not rocket science. Just give them regular coaching, as you should give any employee, and see how fast they pick up!

Saying They Like Their Work
Some people are just plain polite. Polite people are much better to have around than rude people. They life your mood, and the moods of your cranky customers. But, saying how much you like your work is a very good sign. Most people don’t really like their work, or don’t like it that much. They might be loyal to you for the money, but do they really like their job? The fact that someone takes the effort to say that they like their work means something. Sure, they might be faking it, but if you don’t see any “hidden” signs that they “really” don’t like their work, then it is probably genuine!

Returns Calls
This is so basic. Of course someone who returns calls is a “good sign” worker. But, who puts this on a list of good signs? Me! Not everyone can return calls or emails right away, but if they do it within a 24-48 period on a consistent basis, that is good. It means they didn’t forget about you.

Having a Good Attitude
I sort of summarized various sub-components of having a good attitude in part 1 of this blog. I mentioned being friendly and happy to talk, plus willingness to work. These are all effects of having a good attitude. I would look at attitude before looking at skills. Someone with good skills and an antagonistic attitude can be your worst nightmare.

Bad Signs

Being Critical of the Boss
Workers who criticize their boss might have a point. Their boss might really be at fault sometimes. Some workers just criticize just to be jerks. In most workplaces, criticizing the boss is not tolerated, especially in India. But, in America, bosses have to be tolerant of difficult personality types,simply because America is a breeding ground for difficult people. I had one person who was so antagonistic, that when I criticized negligent people who worked for me, he turned it around and said that I also was negligent about many things. When you have a labor shortage, it is hard to have high standards for your workers. You take what you can get. But, if your workers constantly are harping on you, it is time to try some new people.

Suggesting that you fire them
If you criticize a worker, and they suggest that maybe you should fire them, or that maybe you are not a good fit, watch out. When someone talks like that, they might not be correct about the good fit part. They might be a very good fit, with a very bad attitude. Unfortunately, in the world of work, attitude matters more than skills in the long run because the person with the bad attitude will either quit or get fired which nullifies the value of their skills. The person with the good attitude might not know as much, but you will be able to “work with what you have” in them in the long run, plus they might be able to learn. I have had two people suggest that I fire them. I didn’t fire them right away. But, in both cases, the relationship deteriorated into a very antagonistic mess. If someone suggests that you fire them, end it as fast as you can, and you’ll be glad you did. Or, at least put them in a position where they are no longer critical to your daily functioning!

Neutral Signs

Lack of confidence or too much confidence
I am not so concerned about confidence unless you are in sales. Those who lack confidence might be the smartest people around. If they learn to be excellent at what they are doing, then the confidence will come. Confidence comes and goes based on your accumulation of success and failures in your life.

When hiring new workers, a good attitude, reliability and compatibility come before hiring the person with the best skills. Even if hiring for a technical position where they don’t need to be a people-person, you need someone who gets along with you and the others.

(1) Are your new workers fast learners who are happy to be there? That is a very good sign!
(2) If your worker suggests that you fire them, take that seriously. That is the worst sign ever!

You might also like:

Part 1 of Good Sign Bad Sign: What to look for in newly hired workers!

What does Warren Buffet look for when he hires people?

Which countries are the best to outsource particular tasks to?

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When you boil it down, is it about the individual company, its boss or its workers? Or is it more about the available labor pool in that particular country, and its cultural tendencies? The answer is that it is a little of both. Each country has different attributes. Thank god the world has so many countries, because to get anything done you need them. Can you imagine Danish pastries made by Americans? Or French Croissants made by Germans? What about Chinese food made by Koreans? It just doesn’t taste the same.

IT Outsourcing / Software Development Outsourcing
There are several countries that are good for this type of work. Keep in mind that the market can change abruptly if a single large company like Google decides to hire or fire in mass! Americans are the smartest at programming. We invented the computer and the internet in my state of residence here in California. But, due to market conditions, people are far too busy to be able to get anything done in a reasonable timeframe. Belarus, Ukraine, Romania and India are my best picks for getting outsourced software work done. These countries need more hours to do the same work that an American could do in fewer hours. But, at least they HAVE those hours. The

Europeans are reputed to be more careful about following directions than Indians, but there are companies (if you search hard enough) who are very nitpicky as well. If you plan on visiting these companies, the weather is nicer in India, especially during the winter. Shop around and test these guys out.

Call Center Outsourcing
India has a reputation of being big in this business. But, the sad reality is that they lack the social graces to maintain a client base. The Philippines, Kenya, South Africa, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and other Central American destinations are now popular picks for outsourced call center work. They have better accents, more graceful social skills, and the prices are reasonable as well. Indians might have an edge at technical support since they are stronger at IT tasks as a culture in India. India might be a good destination for Telemarketing since they are more aggressive than Filipinos. Once again, shop around and compare. Pick your agents by hand as well.

Data Entry Outsourcing
India leads the pack in this type of work, but I have not found so many companies that seem meticulous enough to do data entry outsourcing. I have no recommendations here other than to be careful.

Medical Transcription & Billing
It might be a better idea to find a US based provider that has staff members throughout the world. This practice is already commonplace. So, you can get the price benefits of outsourcing — without outsourcing, at least not outsourcing yourself! There are a few good medical transcription companies in India an the Philippines who I spoke to who gave a good impression so far in these industries.

Web Design
India once again has many Web Design companies with charismatic bosses who communicate well. Prices are low as well. But, don’t overlook Argentina. Please understand that the Argentinians culturally are great artists, and their web designers are no exception. My staff learned that they lack a business mentality in South America. The work is good, but quotas, schedules, deadlines, websites that actually have phone numbers, and other “being businesslike” characteristics are lacking down there! No country has it all, but the South Americans have great art skills and the warmest personalities in any hemisphere. Worth a try!

Accounting, Finance & Legal
India, in particular Delhi has many companies with very educated people engaged in Accounting outsourcing Finance outsourcing as well as LPO or Legal Process Outsourcing. Please keep in mind that the LPO companies cannot do all of the tasks that an American law firm can do, but they can do many support tasks at 30% of cost while you sleep.

(1) Finding the right country to outsource to is a combination of culture & cost effectiveness.

You might also like:

Outsourcing mistakes — pick your offshore service providers with care!

How to make sure outsourcing companies follow directions

What are the best interview questions?

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What are the best interview questions?

Too many people are asking interview questions where the answers are too obvious.

Q. What would you do if you won a million dollars?
A. I would come to work the next day, I love being loyal to my boss.

What do you expect them to say. So, I decided that I prefer personality questions where there is no correct answer.

How much would you spend on a house, and why?
How do you fit a giraffe in a refrigerator?
What attributes do you look for in friends?
What traits do you find desirable in an enemy?
What trait upsets you most about clients?

You can learn a lot about a person’s personality by asking these questions. There are also infinite ways to answer these questions.

Unfortunately, what I have found is that the people who did worst at my interviews did the best work. The people who were the most polished at the interview, failed to deliver good service. Please keep in mind that I was interviewing companies with more than one person. I am speaking of the overall output of a company.

When you boil it down, what really matters is if a company can make it through two or three small test projects of varying difficulty and a few test estimates. That says more about them than whether they have good techniques for fitting a giraffe in a refrigerator…

“Here Shelly… just stick your neck through that hole and I’ll give you these nice leaves… yum!!!”

(1) The best interview questions are more conversational than technical. See our examples!
(2) The best interview questions are not what you would ever dream of.
(3) Those that did best at the interview were good talkers, but not good workers. Hmm.

You might also like:

It is not comfortable moving up the food chain

Should you have slack in your schedule as a manager?

What does Warren Buffet look for when he hires people?

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What does Warren Buffet look for when he hires people?
He looks for people who can manage entire projects with minimal or no intervention. Otherwise he could be micromanaging and wouldn’t be able to grow his businesses!

I tried to apply Warren’s philosophy of hiring to my own business. I read a handful of books by Warren Buffet more than a decade ago. Much of the wisdom that he shared in his books stuck in my head. But, knowledge from reading books is different from street knowledge or the ability to apply your book knowledge in real life.

In real life, you might go through hundreds or thousands of people just to find a single person who can handle part of an operation with little or no intervention. With the other 99.9% of people, no matter how hungry they are, the minute you stop cracking the whip, they stop functioning!

It is so hard to apply Buffet’s wisdom, I often ask myself if it is even worth trying! Maybe it would be worth it to find someone who can handle 70% of my operation with some intervention. That solves most of the problem. Even that task is going to be very difficult to find someone to manage.

To use Buffet’s philosophy, you need to be an expert at testing people out. My favorite technique is to hand them something and see if you hear from them again. If I give someone an assignment with no due date, will they get back to me in 24 hours, in a week, three weeks, or never? This is a very useful analytic. If your new hired hand has a finished result in 12 hours and is asking for more work, that is someone who is likely to work out in the long run. Whether they can manage others is unclear, but at least they get their work done.

If you spend all of your time cracking the whip and micromanaging what everyone else does, you will never have time to grow your business. On the other hand, if you hire people who NEED to be micromanaged, and you don’t, then your will be out of business in a week which is much worse than never being able to grow your business. At least you will have a business!

The bottom line is:
If you can afford to hire people who function on their own then great. Otherwise, be prepared to micromanage your workers regardless of what Buffet says. Remember — Buffet has better access to human resources than you do, so do the best with whatever you have!

(1) According to Buffet, you need to hire people who function with little or no intervention
(2) I enjoyed reading Warren Buffet’s books, but applying his wisdom in real life is hard!

You might also like:

Steve Jobs watched his programmers carefully — so should you!

The mindset of a millionaire!

Good Sign Bad Sign: What to look for in newly hired workers

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Sometimes it is hard to know who to hire, especially when you are in a bind and need someone right away. There are many signs to look for and many phases in the relationship. Sometimes people start off with a bang and end with a low thud or fizzling sound. Always assume that a good relationship can go South. However, I have never seen a bad relationship turn good. On a brighter note, people with good attitudes who are working on their skills might improve their skills over the period of a year or two.

Good Signs
The service provider:
(1) Is always friendly and happy to talk
(2) Conversations last for more than two hours!
(3) You feel that if you were stuck with the person in an eight hour car ride that it would be a pleasant experience
(4) The person gives thoughtful answers to all of your questions and suggests their own points of view too
(5) Finishes work on time or early
(6) Is not only willing, but happy to meet with you on a Sunday or email you on a Holiday about a work related issue
(7) Enjoys taking you out to eat or being taken out to eat
(8) Gives consistently reasonable bids
(9) Is willing to do small things at no cost

Bad Signs
(1) The person is not so willing to answer questions, and answers seem incomplete or evasive
(2) Conversations are short and the person doesn’t seem to enthusiastic about talking. It is more of a burden
(3) Work is finished late, or is sloppy.
(4) Refuses to lift a finger on the weekend no matter what.
(5) Politely declines when you offer to take them out to eat at your expense.
(6) Complains about the work
(7) Answers their phone less than 35% of the time and doesn’t normally return calls or emails.

Categories of signs
(1) Willingness to interact:
Phone answer rate
Answering messages rate
Answering emails rate & speed
Willing to socialize with you off the job

(2) Quality of interaction:
Quality answers to questions
Suggestions — the person makes great suggestions on their own initiative
Complaining — the person complains regularly about small things
Tone: (happy, distant, absent minded, hostile, etc.)

(3) Punctuality — getting things done on time indicates a “Willingness to work”
(4) Quality of Work
(5) Efficiency of work — keeping bids reasonable and being helpful.
(6) Integrity — not cheating or lying.

Based on my experience, if you hire someone to work for you, nobody is ever perfect. So, don’t hold anyone to perfection unless you are Steve Jobs (who could get away with it.) Unfortunately, if a workers is seriously lacking in any of the six categories of signs listed above, you really can’t use them. But, if they are not too bad in any department and get the job done, you are in business.

One of the most critical signs that I read about in other people’s blogs is a gut feeling. How long would you consent to be stuck in a car with the other person. If the answer is twenty minutes, maybe you should not work with them. But, if the answer is all day, then you found a winner!

Pay attention to signs. A single sign doesn’t prove your destiny, but if there are too many question marks or bad signs, your work relationship will most likely not work. It makes sense to end a bad work relationship as soon as possible, or you will be complaining every day about the person!

You might also like:

What does Warren Buffet look for when he hires people?

Don’t hire an employee, hire 5 and keep the best one!

A 20 minute office visit reveals the character of a company!

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A 20 minute office visit can reveal the character of an outsourcing company in a lot of detail!

I love to learn what great business people do. Maybe if I follow in their foot steps, I will achieve greatness myself. Being successful is hard. There are so many things you need to do, and reading books about what Donald Trump does will only give you a small (but valuable) piece of the puzzle.

Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger subscribe to the idea of visiting people’s offices or manufacturing plants to get a feeling of what the company is like. You look around; You see if the place is neatly maintained; You see how the workers look; Do they look happy and hard working or do they look downtrodden and resentful? Do they look intelligent? Do they have a healthy vibration? Do they look like they do drugs? You can learn a lot from a two minute walk-around. You can even ask quick questions to random people to see if they are communicative or smart!

Another very important fact that I have learned recently is that outsourcing companies worldwide tend to be deceitful about the actual size of their company. They will claim to have more employees than they really have. If you visit someone’s office, you see who is actually there. Many times when I want to visit someone’s office, they meet me in a shared office in a conference room. Then, they tell me that that is their second office, and that they are in their normal office on some other days of the week. This type of nonsense reveals that they lied to you and do not have a real office. I noticed that one “business owner’s” name was not even on the list of companies in suite 300 where his alleged office was.

During interviews, it is important to ask questions that do NOT lead to the interviewee telling you what you want to hear. You want to know what they are like, not what they think you want to hear. Ask questions where they can not “hide” their true nature. An office visit is yet another way to find out how people really are. In my experience, I have seen all types of office environments from all ends of the spectrum.

I visited one social media company where everyone was filled with energy and spark. They were very intelligent and fun to visit. I visited another company where people seemed very dull and unkept. I saw one environment where everyone was busy, but when you ask staff members simple questions, they are unable to answer. It took one girl three weeks to email me and tell me that she had no answer to my question. Other office visits revealed that the outsourcing business owner had no office, and that they were leasing a shared office by the hour, and that they had no actual staff. Their staff was subcontracted and picked and chose which jobs they would accept. My worst office visit revealed an employee who was clearly a DRUG ADDICT. I never would have found out if I hadn’t visited their office.

Another fact to remember is that even if you don’t visit a person’s office, you can tell them that you are going to. Their answers will get a lot more honest about what their office is like if they think you are actually going to come. Office visits reveal reality. You see through everyone’s lies when you are actually there in person. Forget about all of this working remotely nonsense. Yes, work remotely, but visit someone’s office BEFORE you work remotely. It is common sense.

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