Tag Archives: Hiring

What does Warren Buffet look for when he hires people?

Categories: Hiring & Firing, Semi-Popular | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Warren Buffet is a long term thinker and a very practical man. Business advice from the master himself might seem deceptively simple. In a sense it is, but in a sense it is not. Warren likes to hire people who can handle entire projects on their own with minimal intervention. Otherwise, his business cannot grow as he would be busy micromanaging people. I understand his philosophy well as I spend all my time micromanaging people or doing tasks myself. From time to time I find people who will do some of my tasks, but never all of them, so I am always busy catching up on work.

The problem is that most people have limited work skills and are not that loyal. I find that not one person I’ve ever met will just bow down to me and do whatever task I give them no matter what I pay them. I’m not sure it is possible to find someone who will be reliable to me in the long run, but I’ll keep hoping.

Warren has been in business so long, he can probably tell early in the interview if the person seems like they will be reliable in the long run. Over the years he developed an intuition or gut feeling about people. For the rest of us, finding the right people is a lot harder.

Most people cannot function on their own initiative. In most organizations there is a mean guy who is the manager who makes sure the others keep working. If you hire people directly without an intermediary, you need to make sure they keep working. You might have to go through hundreds of people to find one who you can truly rely on.

Since I have very poor intuition, I prefer to see how people do on test jobs. If someone does well and asks for more, that indicates that they want to work. However, it doesn’t indicate how helpful they’ll be when they get busy. You really need to see how people behave during their first four months, and first year. If they do well for twelve consecutive months, it might be time for a promotion.

Finding people who are motivated might cost a lot more than what you are paying now. If you hire people who need to be micromanaged, then micromanage them or they might not function at all. Sometimes the only way to motivate people is to pay them a lot more than they would get paid elsewhere. It is a shame that people can’t just love their work and own their work naturally. But, that is the way the world works. Also, certain industries tend to attract reliable people. Doctors, Attorneys, Accountants and Insurance people tend to be reliable while the people I work with are not. All I can say is good luck!

How many hours does it take to hire someone?

Categories: Management | Tagged | Leave a comment

How long does it take to hire someone?
Does it depend on what type of job you are hiring for? Does it depend on how picky you are? Does it depend on your hiring procedures? And are you the manager active in this process or do you have others to facilitate? Many managers have other staff members handle the hiring process. The manager handles the second interview, but not the first. This makes it easier. I do not have people to help with the hiring process, so I have my hands tied as it takes a long time to coordinate with everyone.

If you put an add in Craigslist or the paper, you might be inundated with calls and emails. If you are busy working, or you are behind on your work, how do you make time for all these emails and calls? How do you make time to interview possibly twenty or more people? It is very time consuming. If you are thorough, it could take 100 hours just to hire one person. And what if after all that time invested they just quit and leave you high and dry?

On the other hand, if your staff handles the emails, calls, and coordinating interviews, and you just lay back until the second interview process, you might only have to invest about five hours doing five 2nd interviews. That sounds a lot more manageable.

Personally, I would rather have staff that sticks around. I don’t like going through hiring, firing, rehiring, quitting, hiring, etc. And also, I like to test people out before I hire them. See if they are any good, and see if they are loyal before giving them any real responsibility. Cautiousness has its price, but so does going too fast!