Like a Boss Series: Hiring the Right People for Your Team

Nothing puts the breaks on efficiency quite like hiring the wrong person for the job. On-boarding new employees also represents considerable expense and energy for yourself and your HR department, so getting it right during the interview process is critical.

Here are a few practical tips to remember to help you hire the perfect people like a boss.

  1.  Consider your interview process as ongoing
  2.  Don’t make rash hiring decisions
  3.  When you need to fire someone, do it quickly
  4.  Hire for likability too
  5.  Don’t nix people for missing a single piece
  6.  Hire for trainability too
  7.  Let your core values dictate who to hire as well
  8.  It’s okay to be skeptical

Ongoing Interview Process

This doesn’t mean conducting performance reviews for current employees. Basically this means don’t let your talent feelers fall stagnant.

As a boss or manager, you should have your finger on the pulse of your departments, predicting and anticipating growth needs. You should be asking yourself where you’re the strongest and where you’re the weakest. If you are anticipating the necessary termination of a team member, begin interviews right away; don’t wait to fire the person before you start looking. If your interview process is ongoing as well, then you won’t be caught off caught since you’ll be aware of the available talent you can recruit.

Don’t Be Rash

If a candidate looks promising, set up a second or third interview with other key players on your team. Multiple opinions will allow you to more properly vet your candidate and gauge how well they will fit. It’s a huge stab in the dark to make hiring decisions after a first interview, so a process should be set up that allows you to review the candidate in multiple settings, interacting with multiple people.

When Firing, Don’t Drag Your Feet

This part of management is rarely pleasant for anyone, but it needs to be done. And if you know it needs to be done, it should be done quickly. For example, if you accidently planted a bad seed in what was otherwise a well-oiled machine, by firing that bad seed quickly, you’re sending a positive message to the rest of your team. Not a message of fear, but a message of: “I have all of our best interests at heart.” Your people will respect this. What they won’t respect is dawdling and the subsequent sacrifice of progress.

Hire for Likability

Factoring in a person’s likability during the interview process is not shallow; it’s essential, and you may find yourself testing your candidate on this level without even realizing it. Does the person grate on you? Do you find them condescending, ingratiating, or irritating in some way? If you don’t think you could tolerate four solid hours in close quarters with this person, even if all of their other qualifications are perfectly satisfying, you’d do well not to hire them. You and members of your team will find it difficult to work with them, and that will impede your productivity.

Don’t Write Off Candidates Unnecessarily (You Can Train them!)

If your candidate is missing technical knowledge in a certain area, but is impressive in all others, train them where they lack! Are they trainable at least, even if they aren’t familiar with a critical piece of software? If you determine that a candidate is worth an investment of time and resources to give them some technical training, do it. A good manager recognizes and does what they need to do to hold onto talent.

Heed Your Core Values

What characteristics are the most important to you? Does your company espouse certain moral mottos or values? Test your candidate for those. You obviously value them for a reason and the people you bring on board absolutely should exemplify what you think is important for your business. Don’t just analyze what they say in response to your interview questions, but how they say it, and how they react to unexpected situations, like another member of your team interrupting the interview and shaking their hand.

Be a Skeptic

Realize that whoever you hire is going to have to prove themselves. They will have made promises, explicit or unstated, about their future performance in the interview and it’s perfectly acceptable to be skeptical about those promises. Your candidate should be trying to impress you as well as exceed your expectations. Begin the interview expecting to be disappointed and give them the job of winning you over.


What has proven to be the most difficult aspect of hiring for you? Anything you’ve learned that you’d like to share? Give us an example of your experience in the comments!


Desmarais, Christina. “How to Hire the Perfect Person Every Time.” (February 13, 2015.)